Lydia Tsvangirai, the mother of the late leader of the Movement for Democratic Change Morgan Tsvangirai, says she does not want Tsvangirai’s wife and acting MDC-T president Nelson Chamisa to attend funeral wakes of the former trade unionist, who succumbed to cancer of the colon last Wednesday.
A television clip aired on the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on Saturday quoted Lydia Tsvangirai telling her grandchild at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport on Saturday that she will kill herself if the two attend the funeral wakes.
“Tell your uncles that I don’t want to see Elizabeth (Tsvangirai) and Chamisa … And even Chamisa’s speech … (Otherwise) I will hang myself (if they come here).”
Indications are that Tsvangirai’s brother, Collins, also tried to force Chamisa to leave the airport.
It’s not yet clear what prompted Lydia Tsvangirai to utter those remarks at the Robert Mugabe International Airport where Tsvangirai’s body was received by thousands of people, including MDC-T officials and supporters.
Conflicts over the control of the party have spilled to the Tsvangirai family, which appears to be working with vice president Elias Mudzuri’s faction of the opposition MDC-T party.
The party’s National Council on Wednesday appointed Chamisa as acting president for 12 months, a move that was criticized by the Mudzuri faction.
Chamisa was not reachable last night for comment. His close associates said Lydia Tsvangirai’s utterances were “laced with poisonous political messages” meant to discredit Chamisa, who is widely expected to be the MDC-T’s presidential candidate in the forthcoming crucial general elections.