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Tsvangirai’s Book Ready for Publishing,’The Unknown to be Revealed’


Former Prime minister and opposition MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka (LT), who served him for 10 years speaks to our reporter Shorai Murwira (SM), on the upcoming book which was wrote by the late party leader and now in the hands of the publishers. Below are the excepts from the interview.

SM: The nation knew Dr Tsvangirai as the Prime minister and MDC leader but you worked with him for 10 years, how best can you describe him and remember him?

LT:Dr Richard Morgan Tsvangirai was a patriotic man, he was a unique leader and some of the attributes he equipped to the nation that i can say i remember is to with this nation. His love for his family, the party,m the people in the party and for the nation at large but particularly that he was more of a listening man than a speaker. He could listen to anyone who knocks at his door step. He could even sit down with a common man for three hours listening, not talking and i see very few leaders doing that, but that was Tsvangirai for you.

I remembered one afternoon as we walked along a street in Brentford in West London in the United Kingdom when a motorist of Asian descent abruptly stopped his car in the middle of the road. He came out and said “I reckon you are Mr. Tsvangirai. I just want a selfie with you. Your unstinting courage has always inspired me.”

The man ignored hooting motorists he had inconvenienced as he rushed to take a picture with this renowned icon. Such was the magic appeal of brand Tsvangirai. We had traversed the world together. We had spent many years, many months, many weeks; indeed many days together and I could not help but feel a swelling wetness in my eyes.

As his spokesperson for over a decade, here was a man I knew so well, a man whose feelings and inner thoughts I had come to know as if they were my own.

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SM:What What did he say that was the motive which pushed him, and triggered the idea of writing the book?

LT: I personally felt that my President has a unique story to tell, it was soon after the consummation and formation of the inclusive government and we set together when he said to me, ‘You know what Luke, this is going to be a stint of service and sacrifice’. You know when he started as the prime minister he spent three years staying in his house and did not rush to move to the house which the government had allocated for the Prime minister. m

SM:How did you managed to finish up the book when he was gone considering the he was guiding you and did you added something which is different from what he had planned?

LT:The book was finished when Dr Tsvangirai was still alive but he was in bed battling for his life, i remember when we were talking at the airport, he told about the round up of the book and i asked him there if ti means that he was going to die but he said, ‘no, just in case i did not come back’.So intricate was our relationship that he would even entrust me to speak for him on filial family matters that would otherwise be entrusted to a family spokesperson. He would tell his brothers to deflect and defer even intimate personal issues to my attention, as he did in 2012 when he was deemed to have married one Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo. Such was the nature of my relationship to this man.

SM: Can you give us major highlights of the insights in the book?

LT: This is going to be an interesting read which people are going to enjoy. It contains everything about his life even the live interviews which he had with the former president Robert Mugabe which are not known to the public. As much as Mugabe hated him, but Tsvangirai could engage with him. My boss was a  humble leader contrary to what everyone was badmouthing about him.

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It also contains he feelings and perception about succession and the party, a lot is in there which is unknown to the world because its about his feelings towards everything.

The other chapter he dedicated to his late wife, Susan Tsvangirai who died in a car accident in 2009 who died few months after the signing of the GNU and he spent the whole chapter talking about his wife for 30 years, expressing his feelings towards her.

He also wrote about a lot of Zimbabweans supported him through out his journey since the birth of MDC in 1999. I could ask him about all this when we were sitting down because i wanted to capture everything including what was going on in his mind when such things were happening.

SM: You wrote in one of your obituaries that he could call you while in hospital to discus secret things, would you care to share?

LT:I wouldn’t want to talk about that but i will tell you one thing, we were close and when he was in hospital he used to call me using the cellphone of chief executive or some senior nurse at that hospital where he was detained and he told me that, ‘you know what i am just telling this nurse that apart from my family and wife, you must be kept aware of what is happening here. That is how i got to know that he had had left us on the  14th of February because that senior person at that hospital called me.

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Journalist based in Harare

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