The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has vowed to defy the wishes of the late party president Morgan Richard Tsvangirai’s family of barring party regalia at the late icon’s memorial service scheduled for this weekend.
The party’s spokesperson Jacob Mafume made the declaration at the party’s press conference on Tuesday afternoon.
Mafume said that there was no way MDC could be separated from the persona of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and vowed that people would attend the service in any regalia they wanted.
“We are going to attend that in full force and we are going to be wearing whatever we want be it party regalia or not. As you remember Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the founding leader of the MDC. He was red in blood, red inside his grave and he is red in heaven where he is,” said Mafume.
The statement by Mafume comes after the family of the late icon issued a statement banning everyone attending not to wear any party regalia as a sign of respect for the late leader. However the Mafume said MDC was also Tsvangirai’s family and that could not be ignored hence they will wear the regalia.
“We are the family of Morgan R Tsvangirai, The family of Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is the MDC that is his family, they were beaten with him, were tortured with him, they died with him, they lived with him. There is no demarcation of his family in fact some of us are carrying the scars for walking with Morgan Richard Tsvangirai and everyone who died for wearing his t-shirt in fact the whole Zimbabwe is his family,” he said
The memorial service is likely to be attended by people from other political parties among them Tsvangirai’s only female deputy president Thokozani Khupe, Lovemore Moyo and Obert Gutu who left the party after a heated dispute with the current MDC leader Nelson Chamisa.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is among the list of high profile invited guests.
Last year Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri escaped violence from rowdy MDC hooligans at Tsvangirai’s funeral a move the family is trying to avoid at the memorial service to be held next week.