The death of Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (65) has shocked the nation and the continent. Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was for a long time a major voice against autocracy, and took on political adversary, former president Robert Mugabe.
The country mourns the death of a struggle icon and tributes continue to pour in. We remember Tsvangirai, and share with you a selection of some of his most profound quotes.
1. “The question is where do we go from here? How can a democratic party like the MDC compete against a violent, dictatorial and increasingly desperate government?”
2. “Yes, they brutalised my flesh. But they will never break my spirit. I will soldier on until Zimbabwe is free”.
3. “For too long, our people’s hopes for a bright and prosperous future have been betrayed. Instead of hope, their days have been filled with starvation, disease and fear. A culture of entitlement and impunity has brought our nation to the brink of a dark abyss. This must end today”. Inauguration speech as Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, 2009.
4. “There can be no defeat, no misery for a party that believes in the right of people to express their will in the manner they wish”.
5. “Economic collapse has forced millions of our most able to flee the country seeking menial jobs, for which they are often overqualified but underpaid. They have had to leave their children behind to be cared for by the elderly, who do not have the resources to feed them and watch in despair as these flowers of our nation wilt and die. This must end today”. Inauguration speech as Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, 2009.
6. “We have absolutely no intention of abandoning the people when we have come to the closing hours of what has been a long and difficult journey toward democratic change”.
7. “We have always known that the change and the transformation that we seek are not instant coffee”. speech during MDC 14th anniversary celebrations.
8. “We have nothing to show for our independence, except overwhelming poverty”.
9. “That lesson is never to take the people for granted”. Speech at the launch of the MDC Alliance, 2017.
10. “That paradigm shift involves the issue of building a democratic people’s resistance movement and other options available democratically and that elections are not just exclusive to the achievement of that objective”.