Zimbabwe: Morgan Tsvangirai – Fast Facts

By IndepthAfrica
In Southern Africa
Jan 14th, 2013
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai speaks to an AFP correspondent on January 27, 2012 in Harare. Zimbabwe will have to hold fresh elections by March next year to replace the uneasy power sharing government with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Friday. Tsvangirai told AFP in an interview that the date for new polls, which Mugabe is pushing for in 2012, "could be this year, it could be early next year" but that Zimbabweans would have to cast ballots before parliament's term expired. AFP Photo / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai speaks to an AFP correspondent on January 27, 2012 in Harare.  JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s a look at the life of Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Birth date: March 10, 1952

Birth place: Gutu, Masvingo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)

Birth name: Morgan Richard Tsvangirai

Father: Chibwe Tsvangirai, a bricklayer

Mother: Lydia Zvaipa

Marriages: Elizabeth Macheka (September 15, 2012 – present); Lorcadia Karimatsenga (November 18, 2011 – November 30, 2011, divorce); Susan (Nyradzo) Tsvangirai (1978 – March 6, 2009, her death)

Children: with Loretta Nyathi: Ethan, 2010; with Susan: (daughters) Millicent, Vimbai, Rumbidzai, (sons) Edwin, Vincent, Garikai

Other Facts:
Is the oldest of nine children.

Left school at age 16 to help support his family.

In the power-sharing plan he serves as Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet as well as Prime Minister.

1974 – 1984 – Union member and organizer at the Trojan Nickel Mine. He starts at the mine as a plant operator and rises to general foreman in 1975.

1988 – Becomes secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

1989 - Persuades ZCTU to cut ties with ZANU-PF, the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front. Serves several weeks in prison on charges of being a South African spy.

1997 - Leads a national strike, the first in the nation’s history, demanding economic reforms to combat Zimbabwe’s high inflation and unemployment rate.

1997 - Days after leading a strike, is beaten unconscious and nearly killed in his ZCTU office by supporters of President Robert Mugabe.

1998 - Co-creates the National Constitutional Assembly, a civic society organization seeking to curb Mugabe’s presidential power.

September 11, 1999 - The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is launched with Tsvangirai as president.

2001 - Is arrested for alleged threats to President Mugabe.

February 25, 2002 - Is arrested and charged with treason in a suspected plot to assassinate President Mugabe.

March 9, 2002 - Loses to President Mugabe in the presidential election.

February 3, 2003 – Trial on charges of treason and attempted assassination begins.

June 2 and 6 – 20, 2003 - Is arrested and later jailed for allegedly violating the Public Order and Security Act by encouraging a general strike lasting five days in the capital city of Harare.

October 15, 2004 - Is acquitted of the February 2002 treason charges by Zimbabwe’s High Court.

March 11, 2007 - Is severely beaten while in police custody after being arrested on his way to an anti-government protest rally.

April 1, 2008 – Claims victory in the presidential election.

May 2, 2008 – The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announces a runoff election between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, although Tsvangirai receives more votes – 47.9% to 43.2%.

June 22, 2008 - Pulls out of the runoff, declaring that he can “no longer participate in a race that’s been marred by the widespread intimidation, torture, mutilation and murder of his supporters.”

September 15, 2008 - After successful negotiations, Mugabe and Tsvangirai sign Global Political Agreement which states Tsvangirai will become prime minister and Mugabe will remain president, commander-in-chief and chairman of the cabinet.

January 30, 2009 – The MDC agrees to join the unity government.

February 11, 2009 - Is sworn in as the second Zimbabwean prime minister.

March 6, 2009 – With head and neck injuries, walks away from a head-on collision that kills his wife Susan.

October 16, 2009 - Along with the MDC, Tsvangirai boycotts the coalition government after violence increases and Roy Bennett, one of MDC’s leaders, is arrested on charges of terrorism.

November 5, 2009 - Boycott of the coalition government ends.

March 10, 2011 - Says he wants a “divorce” from the 2009 power-sharing agreement after the arrest and harassment of cabinet ministers belonging to the MDC party.

November 30, 2011 - Announces he has divorced his wife, Lorcadia Karimatsenga, of less than two weeks.

April 2012 - Announces engagement to hairdresser Elizabeth Macheka.

September 15, 2012 - Marries Macheka, defying a court order not to. The court said Tsvangirai is already in a ‘customary marriage’ to another woman. They intend to appeal the cancellation of their marriage license.

November 2012 - Reaches a financial settlement with Lorcadia Karimatsenga to formally end their relationship.

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