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Elizabeth wishes Tsvangirai was still alive

by Staff reporter
16 Feb 2020 at 17:36hrs | Views
THE still grieving widow of the revered late founding father of the MDC Morgan Tsvangirai, Elizabeth Macheka, says she misses the former prime minister of the country "terribly.

Tsvangirai, the much-loved former trade unionist turned politician died in a South African hospital on Valentine's Day in 2018, after a long and valiant battle against cancer of the colon.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Sunday at the weekend, Elizabeth said she had not only lost a "most loving husband", but also her "soulmate and best friend".

She said it didn't help matters that Tsvangirai had passed away on Valentine's Day - a day meant for lovers to celebrate their relationships - particularly as the couple used to share memorable dates on the day.

If he was still alive this year, the pained widow added, she would have taken Tsvangirai out on Valentine's Day, "as usual", to pamper him and to watch him sip his favourite wine, Sauvignon Blanc - even though he wasn't much of a drinker.

"It has been tough living without this wonderful person that I had chosen to spend the rest of my life with. He died before we achieved many of our dreams as a couple.

"It is now two years since my husband, best friend, lover and someone that I always looked up to for support and wise counsel left me. I miss Save (Tsvangirai's totem) terribly," Elizabeth said, struggling to bottle her emotions.

"Yes, and like many other couples, Morgan and I would celebrate Valentine in a special way. He would spoil me with flowers, gifts and good food - including sumptuous lunches, breakfasts and dinners.

"Equally, I would also spoil him with gifts and things I knew he loved in his quiet and unassuming way, like new golf clubs.

"And as this past Valentine's Day was on a Friday, I would have taken him out of town for a weekend - just for the two of us to have time together, and to allow me to spoil him," Elizabeth added.

The sorrowful widow also recounted for the first time to the Daily News on Sunday how she had been subjected to the most hurtful verbal attacks when her husband was receiving treatment in South Africa, and after he died.

She said until now she had not found "the energy" to speak about her ordeal and how she was forced to play a "painful" and peripheral role during Tsvangirai's funeral.

Although her relationship with some of her late husband's family members had now been mended, one of her "saddest" experiences was when Tsvangirai's grieving mother, Gogo Lydia Chibwe, sought to bar her at some point from attending her husband's funeral - even threatening to commit suicide if Elizabeth attended the interment ceremony in

"Words cannot express the pain and sorrow that I went through, but all is well now with her, others and my soul, because God is good," Elizabeth said.

She said although the treatment that she got at her husband's funeral was "one of the lowest points of my life" she had forgiven all involved and "moved on, just as I'm sure Morgan would want me to".

"I do not hold any grudges because as a Christian I am taught to forgive. I have forgiven everyone who attacked me.

"Equally, and in the same vein, I pray that if at all I transgressed against anyone that they have also forgiven me.

"With regards to my relationship with my husband's family, people must know that I now relate very well with everyone who is able to accommodate me," Elizabeth said.

"Semunhu akabva kunevanhu (as someone who grew up in a good family) it's also my duty to look after Gogo Tsvangirai, and I shall continue to do this to the best of my ability.

"Culturally and spiritually as well, I am still a daughter-in-law to the Tsvangirai family. While what happened during the time of Morgan's death is regrettable, it now belongs to the past.

"Of course, I wish people had respected his wishes and allowed him to be with people close to his heart on his death bed and at his farewell," Elizabeth added.

"I knew my husband very well, and I know for sure that he would not have approved of the treatment that I got during his time of indisposition.

"However, I must emphasise that this is in the past, and such things are common in our culture and among many families.

"In my case, people got to know and to hear about what happened to me - and I'm internally grateful for many people's support and prayers at the time - because my husband was a major public figure," Elizabeth said further.

Tsvangirai died at the age of 65 at a private South African hospital after a battle with cancer of the colon.

The former trade unionist, who served as prime minister in Zimbabwe's coalition government between 2009 and 2013, died just a few months before the 2018 harmonised elections.

He left an indelible mark in the country's fight for democracy, including going into the annals of history as the only man to have beaten the late former president Robert Mugabe hands down in an election.

His resilience and principle made him a respected figure both inside and outside the country - after he managed to mobilise Zimbabweans to fight Mugabe's ruinous rule.

At one time a decade ago, Mugabe's goons left Tsvangirai for dead after brutally savaging the late opposition leader for fronting the resistance to Mugabe's tyranny.

Briefly, but cautiously commenting on politics during her interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Elizabeth said her husband had left "a big legacy" in the country's history that would live for ever.

"He was a very good person who pushed for a very broad-based, water tight, progressive and modern Constitution for the people of Zimbabwe - a Constitution which resonates with many modern democracies.

"Save (Tsvangirai's totem) was not just a politician, he was a great and caring leader.

"He did most of his work quietly and with simplicity because he had a great heart and love for the people, and not because he wanted to be seen or to be recognised," she said.

Source - dailynews

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