Tsvangirai, who described the late Retired Colonel Tichaona Mudzingwa, as an icon of both the liberation and democratic struggles, said he had been denied hero status because he belonged to a different party.
“If I had my own way, I would not have hesitated to bestow national hero’s status to Dr Mudzingwa,” Tsvangirai said. “He earned it, because he was committed to the freedom of the people of Zimbabwe. The problem is a political culture which says if you belong to a different political party which believes in one party, one mind and one-man-one-rule. That is a political culture we have to change.”
Mudzingwa was buried at Glen Forest cemetery in Harare, where mostly mourners from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party and civil society activists attended.
“It’s not enough to be convinced that the people of Zimbabwe are independent but you must be converted to believe in their freedom. Mudzingwa was not only convinced, he was converted to the full,” said Tsvangirai.
Transport Minister Nicholas Goche was represented at the burial by Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Patson Mbiriri.
Zanu (PF) Senate President Edna Madzongwe and leader of the upper house said the late Mudzingwa possessed a national outlook.
War veteran and Zimbabwe Liberators Platform leader, Wilfred Mhanda, also known as Dzinashe Madzingura, rebuked the military chiefs for failing to attend the funeral of their departed comrade.
“He worked with a lot serving senior personalities in the army who could not come here to identify with him,” he said. “Mudzingwa would have loved to have them come and bid him farewell but their problem is that they deemed him as politically incorrect.”
He criticised Zanu (PF) for creating imaginary enemies, destroying the very gains of independence.
Mudzingwa, who was once a member of the ZIPRA High Command, died at the age of 69 last Tuesday.