The MDC-T leader said this when he addressed hundreds of mourners at the funeral of the first MDC-T mayor Engineer Alois Vhuramayi Chaimiti.
The funeral was held at the Masvingo Cathedral on Sunday and was attended by hundreds of people from the town and some from other cities as well.
Chaimiti died at the age of 63.Tsvangirai described the late Chaimiti as a man of integrity and urged youths in the party to emulate his good works.
“Chaimiti was the only mayor in the country who managed to work with Zanu (PF) without any problems. Up to now, we have not yet managed to find a mayor who can match his standards. He was a humble father in the MDC family. Often people said our party was full of youngsters but the coming of people like him showed that MDC was not a party for the young only, ” said Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai took the opportunity to plead with ordinary Zimbabweans to stop political violence.
“Why do you fight here when I can sit with Mugabe every Monday? You all know that I was beaten before and often Mugabe laughs at me openly saying ‘chakadashurwa’ (he was thoroughly beaten) but I don’t fight him back when I meet him for cabinet meetings. That spirit must also go down up to grassroots levels, ” Tsvangirai added.
Top MDC-T officials including spokesperson Nelson Chamisa and national organizing secretary Elias Mudzuri attended the ceremony. Zanu (PF) politburo member Dzikamai Mavhaire also attended funeral. Masvingo city mayor Alderman Femias Chakabuda said he learnt a lot from Chaimiti whom he described as his best mentor.
“I learnt a lot from my mentor. Often I would go to him and seek solutions on critical issues in the council. He did a number of projects to improve the general life of an ordinary citizen in Masvingo, ” said Chakabuda.
Chaimiti was elected mayor for Masvingo in 2000 before he was re-elected uncontested when Zanu (PF) candidate Patson Muzvidziwa failed to produce adequate papers at the nomination court in 2005.
Chaimiti is survived by his wife Betty, four sons and three grand children.