By Professor Matodzi
Harare, December 11, 2013 – Zimbabwe’s rival political party leaders united on Wednesday as they attended a memorial service in honour of the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
MDC-T party leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Mavambo-Kusile Dawn party and a representative of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa showed up at the official residence of the South African ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, where a memorial service for Madiba was held.
Tsvangirai was accompanied by his deputy Thokozani Khupe, party secretary-general Tendai Biti, national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa and Harare West legislator Jessie Majome.
The memorial service lasted three hours was also attended by diplomats from western governments among them Aldo Dell’ Ariccia, the EU ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, the Australian ambassador to Zimbabwe and African diplomats including Ambassador Mwanananga, the Democratic Republic of Congo ambassador to Zimbabwe, who is also the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.
Representatives of the business community among them NMB chief executive officer James Mushore, Farai Rwodzi and Adam Molai and academics such as Ibbo Mandaza were also in attendance.
The political party leaders, diplomats, business leaders and other visitors took time to sign the book of condolences which was opened early this week as part of the programme of events hosted by the South African embassy to mark the memorial of the late liberation icon.
Mandela died peacefully at his Johannesburg home on Thursday after a prolonged lung infection.
On Tuesday, more than 90 heads of state and government attended an emotional memorial service for the globally-admired statesman held at Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium.