President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described the late Movement for Democratic Change leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai as a strong trade unionist.

Mr Tsvangirai passed away in a hospital in South Africa on Wednesday evening after a two year battle with cancer of the colon.

He was 65.

In a statement Thursday, President Mnangagwa: “On behalf of the ruling Zanu-PF party, Government, our nation, and that of my family, I wish to express deepest condolences to the Tsvangirai family on the sad passing yesterday evening of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai, the former Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, and leader of the opposition MDC-T party.

“A strong trade unionist and opposition leader, the late Tsvangirai will be remembered especially for his readiness to stretch and reach out across the political divide for a Government of National Unity after the   polarizing 2008 elections.

“Both in and after the Government of National Unity, he remained a national figure who obdurately insisted on free, fair, credible and non-violent elections as a way of strengthening our democracy and our overall re-engagement with the rest of the world.”

President Mnangagwa said Government was consulting Mr Tsvangirai’s family on how it could assist.

“As we join the Tsvangirai family in mourning their dear departed, we pray that the whole family remains united to give the deceased a dignified send-off.

“Consultations are underway in Government and with the family to determine what else Government needs to do to accord the late departed a fitting honour.”