Zimbabwean opposition leader is buried in rural home
BUHERA, Zimbabwe (AP):
Thousands of people in Zimbabwe yesterday gathered for the burial of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, whose death from cancer exacerbated divisions within a movement preparing for elections this year.
A hearse carrying Tsvangirai's body in a white casket drove slowly through crowds to a school ground near his rural home in eastern Zimbabwe.
Rival leaders vied for control of the opposition MDC-T party after the death last week of Tsvangirai, a long-time opponent of former President Robert Mugabe, who also entered into a flawed power-sharing arrangement with him after disputed elections.
"Our leaders are going to unite," Nelson Chamisa, head of the opposition party, said at the burial.
He said he had a condolence letter from Mugabe, but refused the crowd's calls that he read it and instead handed it to a member of Tsvangirai's family.
Chamisa's authority has been challenged by two other MDC officials, Thokozani Khupe and former Harare mayor Elias Mudzuri. The MDC-T party holds the second largest number of seats in Zimbabwe's parliament.
Mugabe resigned after a military takeover in November, and his successor, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, says elections will be held as scheduled this year.