Veteran opposition leader Jean-Pierre
Fabre said: “The crisis chipping away at
Togo is deep.
“The ﬁght has entered a decisive and
irreversible phase because the people are
incensed by more than half a century of
massive human rights violations and bad
“We call on the good faith and sense of
responsibility of those in charge. The
Togolese people – hurting and angry but
resolute and determined – are attentive.”
The spokesman for UNIR, Charles
Condi Agba, for his part said it was
participating “in a sense of openness”.
As an indication of the progress of the
talks, nearly half of the opposition
supporters arrested during a wave of
anti-government demonstrations would
be pardoned, according to the Ghanaian
President Gnassingbe “has decided to
give a presidential pardon to 45 of the 92
people detained ... following their par-
ticipation in protests,” said Ghanaian
delegation spokesman Daniel Osei late
on February 19th.
Osei said the ﬁrst day of talks took place
in a “good atmosphere and led to
successful conclusions,” including an
agreement to suspend protests until the
end of the dialogue.
Both sides – each represented by seven
delegates – were due to meet again on
February 23rd, when the issue of
whether to “return to the 1992 constitu-
tion” would be examined, he added.
Reliable sources said that around 30
people were released in Lom
pame, Kara and Dapaong on February
(© AFP 19,20/2 2018; RFI, Paris 21/2)
Protests continue p. 21720B
Outpourings of grief mark the opposi-
tion leader’s passing, and there is no
Morgan Tsvangirai, the veteran Zimbab-
wean opposition leader who confronted
Robert Mugabe’s regime for many years,
died on February 14th in a South African
hospital after a battle with cancer, a
party ofﬁcial said. He was 65.
Tsvangirai, who founded the Movement
for Democratic Change (MDC) party in
1999, was among the most prominent
critics of Mugabe, the long-time author-
itarian leader who was ousted from
power in November.
“It is sad for me to announce that we
have lost our icon and ﬁghter for
democracy,” Elias Mudzuri, one of the
vice-presidents of the MDC, said on
On February 9th, senior members of his
party clashed in public in a power
struggle between Mudzuri and another
of his deputies Nelson Chamisa, 40, over
who was in charge of the party – months
before key elections.
Tsvangirai’s death ﬁrmly places Presi-
dent Emmerson Mnangagwa, the
ZANU-PF veteran who took over after
Mugabe’s ousting, on the path to victory
in elections that are to be held before
Tsvangirai, who announced two years
ago that he had been diagnosed with
colon cancer, was the face of bravery in
Zimbabwe opposition politics.
David Coltart, a fellow opposition lea-
der who was one of the founding mem-
bers of the MDC but later joined a
splinter group, wrote on Twitter that
Tsvangirai will be remembered as one of
Zimbabwe’s “greatest patriots” and that
he deserves to be called a “hero”.
“Although like all of us he made mis-
takes, none of us ever doubted his
commitment to transform Zimbabwe
into a modern, democratic, tolerant
state,” Coltart said.
Harare-based political analyst Alexan-
der Rusero described Tsvangirai as “a
larger-than-life character” of Zimbab-
wean opposition politics.
“Tsvangirai will be remembered as the
brave man who demystiﬁed dictatorship
in Zimbabwe. He was the godfather of
genuine opposition politics who formed
a formidable opposition to Mugabe’s
dictatorship,” Rusero told AFP.
South Africa’s ruling ANC party, Ken-
yan leader Uhuru Kenyatta and the
government of Botswana expressed their
condolences over the passing of Tsvan-
The United States (US) State depart-
ment saluted Tsvangirai’s “relentless
struggle and great personal sacriﬁces
for the equitable treatment of all Zim-
President Emmerson Mnangagwa
lauded his party’s arch-rival as “a strong
trade unionist and opposition leader.”
“When we write the history of this
country we cannot leave out the partic-
ipation and role that the former prime
minister played in the effort to entrench
democratic values in this country,”
“He travelled a difﬁcult journey and we
should remember that.”
(© AFP 14-18/2
2018; Twitter.com 14/2)
Tsvangirai’s body was brought home to
Zimbabwe from South Africa on
February 17th. He was received at
Harare airport with military honours.
On February 19th, thousands of mourn-
ers took to the streets of Harare to pay
tribute to Tsvangirai as his funeral
cortege was driven to the main square.
He was buried at Buhera, his rural
home, 220km south of Harare. His body
was ﬂown to the burial ceremony aboard
a military helicopter, accompanied by
his mother Mbuya Tsvangirai.
Tsvangirai – The Enduring Face of
Born in 1952 in Gutu, a remote farming
area south of the capital Harare, Tsvan-
girai was the eldest of nine children whose
father worked as a bricklayer.
He was forced by poverty to leave school
early and start work as a trainee weaver.
After two years he became a foreman at a
nickel mine in Mashonaland, northern
Zimbabwe, where he would stay for 10
years until taking the plunge and becom-
ing a trade unionist.
Unlike most of Zimbabwe’s leading politi-
cians, Tsvangirai did not ﬁght in the
liberation war against Britain despite
being 28 years old when Zimbabwe won
In 1988, he was elected secretary general
of what later became the Zimbabwe Con-
gress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).
Tsvangirai emerged as a powerful political
force in December 1997 when he led the
ZCTU in crippling strikes over the rising
cost of living which brought the country
to a standstill.
An eloquent and persuasive speaker, he
kept up the pressure even after the strike
was ended as Zimbabwe’s economic woes
In 1999 he created the MDC in a bid to
end Robert Mugabe’s grip on power,
ﬁrmly held since independence in 1980
until November 2017.
A teetotalling nonsmoker from the major-
ity Shona community, Tsvangirai had
widely been seen as the best hope for
reviving Zimbabwe’s divided politics and
moribund economy and was a forceful
His political career almost ground to a
halt in 2001 when he was tried over
allegations he had conspired to kill
Mugabe, levelled by a self-proclaimed ex-
Israeli spy. Tsvangirai was eventually
In March 2007, police violently cracked
down on Tsvangirai and dozens of oppo-
sition activists when they attempted to
stage an anti-government rally. Images of
his bloody, mangled face were seen world-
wide, leading to global condemnation of
Mugabe and his security forces. (© AFP
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
21756 – Africa Research Bulletin Internal Developments