Morgan Tsvangirai Biography

Morgan Tsvangirai, the former prime minister of Zimbabwe, has gained international recognition for his efforts to expose the ongoing dictatorship in his home country. Starting his career as a dedicated worker in a nickel mine, Tsvangirai quickly rose through the ranks of the Mine Workers Union, showcasing his strong work ethic. As his opposition to the current administration grew, he formed a new political party, which became the most formidable opposition in Zimbabwe’s history. Despite facing intimidation, threats, and even arrest from President Robert Mugabe’s administration, Tsvangirai remained resilient in his pursuit of democracy. Although he was never able to defeat Mugabe in an election, he successfully brought attention to the government’s abuse of power on an international scale. As a result, pressure from the global community has mounted on Mugabe to step down and put an end to his blatant human rights violations.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Morgan Richard Tsvangirai
  • Age: 71 Years, 71 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Elizabeth Macheka, Locadia Karimatsenga, Susan Tsvangirai
    • Father: Dzingirai-Chibwe Tsvangirai
    • Mother: Lydia Tsvangirai
    • Children: Edwin Tsvangirai, Garikai Tsvangirai, Millicent Tsvangirai, Rumbidzai Tsvangirai, Vimbai Tsvangirai, Vincent Tsvangirai
  • Presidents
  • Black Leaders
  • Political ideology: Zimbabwe African National Union (Before 1987), Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (1987–1999), Movement for Democratic Change (1999–2005), Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (2005–present)
  • Founder/Co-Founder: Movement for Democratic Change, Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions
  • Education: Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Awards: Solidar Silver Rose Award

Childhood & Early Life

Morgan Tsvangirai was born on March 10, 1952 in Gutu, Zimbabwe. His father was a mine worker, carpenter, and farmer. He attended St. Marks Goneso Primary School Hwedza and later transferred to Chikara Primary School Gutu. For his secondary education, he attended Gokomere High School. Despite facing financial difficulties, he left school at a young age to seek employment and support his family.

Career

In 1972, Tsvangirai got his first job as a trainee weaver for Elastics & Tapes textile factory in Mutare. In 1974, he began working at Trojan Nickel Mine and became an active participant of the Associated Mineworkers Union. He gained recognition in the mine and was elected vice president of the Mine Workers Union in 1985. In 1988, he became the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and held this position until the trade union split into different parties. Tsvangirai openly opposed President Robert Mugabe’s taxation policy in 1997 and 1998, leading a series of strikes. He also joined the National Constitutional Assembly and served as its chairman, advocating for a new constitution for Zimbabwe. In 1999, he formed the Movement for Democratic Change, which became the most successful opposition challenge in Zimbabwe’s history. Despite facing numerous arrests and charges, including treason, Tsvangirai continued to fight for democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.

Power Sharing Agreement

On September 15, 2008, Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe signed the Global Political Agreement, leading to a power sharing agreement. Tsvangirai became the prime minister of Zimbabwe while Mugabe remained as president. However, the new government faced disagreements and conflicts.

Major Works

Morgan Tsvangirai played a significant role in bringing international attention to the human rights abuses and dictatorship in Zimbabwe. His persistent efforts forced President Mugabe to agree on a power-sharing arrangement, although it did not last long.

Awards & Achievements

In 2001, Tsvangirai received the Solida Silver Rose Award for his outstanding achievement in civil society activities. He was also honored with the Human Rights Award in 2009 for his fight for human rights in Zimbabwe. In the same year, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spanish Foundation Cristobal Gabarron for his fight for democracy and peace. In 2013, he was bestowed an Honorary Doctorate degree in Public Administration by the Sun Moon University of South Korea.

Personal Life & Legacy

Tsvangirai married Susan Nyarandzo Mhundwa on July 10, 1979, and they had six children together. Sadly, Susan passed away in a car accident in 2009. Tsvangirai has survived at least three assassination attempts, including one in 1997 when an assassin tried to throw him out of a tenth-story window.

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