Zimbabwe’s Commander Defence Forces General Constantino Chiwenga attends the extraordinary conference of the Zanu-PF, Zimbabwe’s ruling party, in Harare December 15, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA
Vice president Retired General Constantino Chiwenga, has expressed his sadness at the passing of former prime minister and leader of the opposition MDC-T party, Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai died last night in South Africa after a long battle against colon cancer. Chiwenga went on to say that they would sit to deliberate on how to honour Tsvangirai. Writing on his Twitter page, the vice president said:
We are saddened by the death of MT, we will sit and see how Zimbabweans can honour that Great son of the soil.
Chiwenga was one of the first and most senior members of the ruling Zanu-PF to express his condolences. His comments come at a time when there have been calls by some people to declare the veteran opposition leader a National Hero. However, only time will tell if President Emmerson Mnangagwa will declare Tsvangirai a national hero.
According to the National Heroes Act Chapter 10:16, designation of hero status is done by the President
where the President considers that any deceased person who was a citizen of Zimbabwe has deserved well of his country on account of his outstanding, distinctive and distinguished service to Zimbabwe, he may, by notice in Gazette, designate such a person a national, provincial or district hero of Zimbabwe.
If Tsvangirai is declared a national hero, he would be the first opposition leader to be buried at the National Heroes Acre.