Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai Dies at 65

Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has died in South Africa, party officials have said.

Mr Tsvangirai, 65, a former prime minister, had been suffering from colon cancer before his demise late Wednesday.

Elias Mudzuri, a vice president of the Movement for Democratic Change party, reported Tsvangirai’s death in a post on Twitter Wednesday night.

“It is sad for me to announce that we have lost our icon and fighter for democracy,” Mudzuri wrote.

Mr Tsvangirai’s career was marked by a long political struggle against former Zimbabwe’s long-time President Robert Mugabe.

He had been beaten and imprisoned numerous times in his quest for the enthronement of democracy in the Southern African nation.

Mr Tsvangirai founded the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) in 2000, repeatedly challenging Mr Mugabe during the ex-president’s long grip on power.

He served as prime minister under ex-President Robert Mugabe in a 2009-2013 unity government.

Obert Gutu, party spokesman, confirmed Tsvangirai’s death on Twitter, calling him “a political icon, a humble and tenacious fighter for the creation of a peaceful, stable, democratic and progressive nation state in Zimbabwe”.

Last week, Tsvangirai had taken to Twitter to play down speculation that his illness was terminal.

“I have cancer and [am] not feeling too well, but I am stable and the process is under control. … I am recovering,” he wrote on February 6.

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