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Bulawayo will never be the same for Tsvangirai after Mahlangu burial snub

by Auxilia Katongomara
12 Oct 2015 at 06:30hrs | Views
MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai has been described as a coward who is not in touch with party grassroots after failing to attend the burial of one of the party's founding members Thamsanqa Mahlangu on Saturday.

There were chaotic scenes at the late Nkulumane MP's burial on Saturday with rival MDC-T factions physically fighting for the body.

Tsvangirai and some members of the national committee who had flown to Bulawayo for the burial failed to make it to the church service reportedly fearing the chaos that had rocked the late legislator's funeral.

At one point, a hearse carrying the body sped off as family members quarrelled over the late legislator's body. Former Bulawayo deputy mayor, Amen Mpofu said Tsvangirai's absence at the burial of Mahlangu could see him losing more supporters.

"Bulawayo will never be the same for Tsvangirai. How could the MDC-T leadership fail to witness the burial of one of their own. Morgan, humble as I know him, was just supposed to go straight to the cemetery to avoid taking sides.

"The party must go back to its founding objectives and values and avoid arrogance, a cancer that will devour it," said Mpofu.

"You can't treat a person as an outcast when he was alive and pretend to be a close friend when he is no more. The reason some of us left the party is what we all saw yesterday (Saturday)."

Three funeral wakes were held for the late MP at three different venues, with the main one being held at the house belonging to his stepfather, only identified as Mugova in Nkulumane. The other two were at his paternal family house in Luveve and his grandmother's house, also in Luveve.

A party source said the behaviour shown by Tsvangirai and the entire leadership was cowardly.

"He showed us that he is a coward, he has no control of the party, amidst all the chaos, he should have appeared at the cemetery because it was a neutral venue.

"By that he wouldn't have been taking sides. Kasenzelanga kuhle katshengiselanga ubuntu because Thamsanqa was not a mafikizolo in the party. He was there when it was founded. We aren't happy," said the party member.

The source accused the provincial leadership of misleading Tsvangirai.

"Bulawayo had accorded Mahlangu a hero's status by letting him be buried at Lady Stanley cemetery but the party leadership failed to recognise its own hero".

MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu defended Tsvangirai and some senior party members saying they could not stand the differences at Mahlangu's family which saw them abandoning burial proceedings.

He said the party had taken a decision that they would not take sides with any of the family factions.

"Unfortunately, the family differences couldn't be resolved in time to allow president Tsvangirai and members of his national standing committee to attend both the church service as well as the burial at Lady Stanley cemetery in Bulawayo on Saturday," said the MDC-T spokesperson.

The fight regarding the burial of the legislator was among three families, his step father Mugova who wanted to take charge of proceedings arguing that the late MP was "given to him by ancestors," Mahlangu's paternal family, the Sangos and his maternal relatives, the Mahlangus, who reside in Luveve.

Sources said Mugova was married to Mahlangu's mother (now late) and started living with the legislator after he completed his Advanced Level studies.

All along, Mahlangu had been living with his father's family in Luveve.

MDC-T youths were at the forefront of all the chaos after they blocked the removal of Mahlangu's body at his father's house in Luveve, alleging that the family had threatened to confiscate the body and prevent it from being buried on Saturday.

Source - chronicle

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