16 February 2018

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Mum Over Old Rival, Tsvangirai's Death

Photo: The Herald
Former president Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace Mugabe (file photo).

Ousted President Robert Mugabe has kept a curious silence over the death of old rival and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday.

The late MDC-T leader succumbed to colon cancer at a South African hospital where he had been receiving treatment since coming out public about his ailment in 2016.

His death has been met with an outpouring of grief among his followers with both friends and foes from far and wide sending their condolence messages.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his deputy Constantino Chiwenga found themselves in rare unison with exiled Zanu PF rivals in ex-cabinet ministers Jonathan Moyo and Saviour Kasukuwere to commiserate with the Tsvangirai family.

However, Mugabe has kept a conspicuous silence over his one-time bitter rival's death.

The veteran leader was dislodged as President during a November military takeover of government which was immediately endorsed by the international community.

He is reportedly still bitter about his acrimonious exit from a job he had protected with an octopus grip for 37 years.

Mugabe has not been seen in public since his ouster; he has also refrained from issuing any statement on anything - national or otherwise.

However, for someone he once formed a government with, the 94-year-old was expected to be among the those expressing themselves over the ex-premier's passing.

When Tsvangirai lost his first wife, Susan, in a tragic 2009 car accident in which the then Prime Minister escaped with minor injuries, Mugabe took time to visit his rival at a private hospital in Harare.

Again, when Tsvangirai was frequenting South Africa for treatment, Mugabe was said to have been clandestinely paying for the late MDC-T leader's health related expenses.

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