BY OBEY MANAYITI
THE family of the late MDC founding leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said they will not allow wearing of party regalia at the memorial service for the former Prime Minister in Buhera at the weekend.
Although this will likely set the family and party on a collision course, Tsvangirai’s younger brother Manase said they expect their decisions to be respected.
Tsvangirai died last year following a battle with cancer of the colon and was buried in his rural home in Humanikwa, Buhera, where the memorial will be held this Saturday.
“The emphasis is that we have invited everyone; this is not a partisan thing and on top of that we expect people to come putting what reminds us of Morgan Tsvangirai,” Manase said while addressing journalists at Tsvangirai’s Strathaven house in Harare.
“There is no any other regalia that should be put on except that of Dr Morgan Richard Tsvangirai. This is a memorial (and) we expect the event to be peaceful in Buhera.
“We are expecting different people from the State departments, different political parties and different people from other institutions,” he said.
The family said they expect the event to be peaceful and open to everyone because Tsvangirai worked with almost everyone, including former President Robert Mugabe, who was his main rival during his long political career.
Manase said the family will be leading the proceedings, hence their wishes, especially on regalia, must be respected.
“I think people should actually respect the Tsvangirai family and we are saying it’s better you put Morgan Tsvangirai regalia because we are remembering him as a person who has gone before us.
“To the family, I think it will be like an insult to try and put on something that doesn’t resemble him. We will encourage people to put on something about Morgan Tsvangirai for those few hours,” he said.
Manase said Elizabeth, Tsvangirai’s widow and the in-laws from the Mhundwa and Macheka families had been informed about the event.
He also said there was no bad blood between the family and the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC leadership.
Manase, who was flanked by Ian Makone, the late Tsvangirai’s aide, said they have also put mechanisms to ensure that violence will not break out like what happened at the ex-Premier’s burial.
“This is not a party function and it is led by the family. There is security for everyone. We are not going to see a repetition of what happened (at his burial),” he said. Manase also called for discipline among those who will be attending by not trespassing into villagers’ fields, saying the local traditional leadership made a passionate plea on the matter.