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Tsvangirai torch bearer of Africa’s second liberation

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FORMER prime minister and MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai is a torch-bearer of Africa’s second liberation, a Kenyan opposition leader has said.

Orange Democracy Movement leader Raila Odinga said just like him, Tsvangirai dedicated his life to democratisation of the continent in the face of dictatorship.

A friend of the late Zimbabwean opposition leader, Odinga was speaking at the burial Tuesday of Tsvangirai who succumbed to colon cancer in South Africa last week.

“Morgan Tsvangirai has been a torch-bearer of the second liberation of Africa,” said Odinga.

“He, just like me, has been victorious in elections but the elections were stolen and we both ended up as Prime Ministers.”

The Kenyan politician said the African continent was synonymous with rigged elections but was quick to point out that Zimbabwe was on the verge of making history.

The country holds fresh elections this year, the first after the ouster of veteran leader Robert Mugabe who was toppled by the military last November after 37 years in power.

“This country (could be) on the verge of making history considering recent events” said Odinga. “But it has to start with the unity of the MDC T and bringing together the alliance partners.”

Odinga, who held a ceremonial swearing in ceremony in his home country last month, said the new (Emmerson Mnangagwa) dispensation had also made some positive moves which the opposition should take advantage of.

He said the MDC T should work with progressive people in Zanu PF to move the country forward.

Odinga, like Tsvangirai, has been a victim of violence and vote rigging in his quest to takeover power in Kenya.

He was the main opposition candidate in the disputed 2007 presidential election, running against then incumbent Mwai Kibaki.

Following a violence-marred vote and post-poll crisis, Odinga was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki, serving as supervisor and coordinator of a national unity coalition government.

Tsvangirai was also appointed Prime Minister in 2009, following a violent election run-off a year earlier that saw him withdraw from the race a few days before the polls.