President Emmerson Mnangagwa says his government will fulfil its promises to the Tsvangirai family by paying the hospital bills left in South Africa and availing planes that will ferry the body of the late former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to his rural home in Buhera for burial.
Mr Tsvangirai succumbed to colon cancer on Wednesday last week and his body arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday and lied in state at the One Commando Barracks in Harare.
Before a church service at 2.pm today at Mabelreign, President Mnangagwa, his wife Cde Auxillia Mnangagwa, the two Vice Presidents, Cde Kembo Mohadi and Retired General Constantino Chiwenga visited the Tsvangirai residence at Highlands to pay their condolences.
Addressing mourners, Cde Mnangagwa said the state will fulfil all its promises so that the former Prime Minister can be afforded a befitting send off.
“I visited Mr Tsvangirai last month and made some promises to him and I will not renege on those promises. The government will help settle hospital bills as already promised. The body arrived yesterday and I sent my representatives to receive it at the airport. As you all know, all those that the government chooses to honour, we let them lay in state at a special place, at One Commando Barracks and that is what happened to Mr Tsvangirai. Now it is up to you, if you give us the programme, we will avail planes to take Mr Tsvangirai’s body home,” said President Mnangagwa, also revealing that the late former Prime Minister was his uncle.
Earlier, Mr Tsvangirai’s niece had revealed that they had left a 2 million rand hospital bill in South Africa.
The President’s speech was also unifying, calling for Zimbabweans to respect each other and set political differences aside especially in times like these.
“We must respect each other. Politics will remain there and people fighting but we are all one people. Myself and my party are saying let us be united and work together. All these differences are not different from a scenario in a family where one says let’s do dry planting and the other says let’s wait for rain. What is important in this case is that both are seized with the desire to farm for their family,” he said.
“Each of us has their days of life, if we still have time on this earth, let us all work for our country so that our legacies will remain. We must understand that we are all Zimbabweans, I don’t think there is any political party in the country that has the agenda to make people suffer,” Cde Mnangagwa added.
The President also said he is overwhelmed by condolence messages from many people mostly outside the country following the death of Mr Tsvangirai, who he described as a person who has travelled his difficult journey until the end.
Members of various political parties, among them the MDC-T leadership, former Vice President and NPP leader Joice Mujuru, former Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara were in attendance.
The body of Mr Tsvangirai will be taken to Robert Mugabe Square in Harare for a send off tomorrow before being flown to Buhera for burial on Tuesday.