Zimbabwe: Morgan Tsvangirai – Fast Facts
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
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.