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Tributes pour in for ex-Tsvangirai adviser Magaisa; ‘What a force, a giant!’ – says Chamisa

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Correspondent


TRIBUTES from across the political divide continue to pour in for late University of Kent law lecturer and former advisor to the late Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Alex Magaisa.

Magaisa, who died early Sunday from a cardiac arrest, was widely respected as a sober critic, with his weekly Big Saturday Read (BSR) gaining recognition within diplomatic circles.

His passing was announced by political analyst Ibbo Mandaza.

 

Workmates, politicians who had differed with him on policy and political matters, government officials, and religious leaders paid homage to the man described by youths within opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) as a gentle giant.

“Devastated to hear that Alex Magaisa has died. A brilliant thinker, a graet academic and a fantastic friend. His BSR is the best example I know of an academic speaking truth to power for their people. He meant so much to so many,” said Professor of Democracy at the University of Birmingham, Nic Cheeseman.

Government spokesperson Ndabaningi Mangwana said despite their opposing views on Zimbabwe, and its politics, they had remained brothers.

“Really saddened to learn of Alex’s death. My kids went to the University of Kent and whenever I visited my kids, Alex, Gift and I would have a meal and a drink together. We politically disagreed but it was never personal. We had many TV debates on opposing sides but remained bros. RIP Brother,” said Mangwana.

CCC president Nelson Chamisa, who worked closely with Magaisa during his time in Zimbabwe and the government of national unity (GNU) between 2008 and 2013, said his passing was a great blow.

“A HUGE BLOW FELLOW CITIZENS! What a force, a giant! What a human being! What an intelligent man! What gigabytes of intellect! What a fine great man! What a sober mind! What a cool character! What a lovely brother! And he has not seen his heart’s desire-A New Great ZIMBABWE,” said Chamisa.

Pastor Evan Mawarire, of the #ThisFlag movement said all that Magaisa wrote about Zimbabwe was useful in the democratisation process of Zimbabwe.

“Nooo! Alex, why mdhara wangu? Rest in peace gentle, wise, brave warrior of the struggle. Every word you wrote and spoke about Zimbabwe had meaning and use for all fighting for her freedom. Goodbye my friend. I can’t believe it. Condolences to the Magaisa family.

Exiled former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo said Magaisa’s passing will leave a space within the country’s public discourse that could never be filled.

“Gutting news about Dr Alex Magaisa. A fierce interlocutor, prolific writer and an indefatigable contributor to the quest for a better Zimbabwe. His tragic death leaves an unfillable void in the country’s s public discourse. Condolences to his family and friends,” said Moyo, who also sparred with the late academic on policy and politics, online.

Magaisa’s funeral arrangements are yet to be publicised although sources have confirmed his body will be buried in Zimbabwe.