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Hundreds pay their respects to Morgan Tsvangirai at funeral

Hundreds pay their respects to Morgan Tsvangirai at funeral

Zimbabwe's president on Sunday praised opposition icon Morgan Tsvangirai who died last week as an outstanding political figure who had endured political hardship and deserved his place in the country's history.

Tsvangirai will be buried in his rural home of Buhera, in eastern Zimbabwe, on Tuesday.

Tsvangirai, 65, founded the MDC in 1999. Mr Tsvangirai, who was battling cancer, died on February 15.

Thousands of Zimbabweans, some from the country's main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, clad in red, thronged Freedom Square in the capital to bid farewell to the late Morgan Tsvangirai.

Some party members are disputing Chamisa's appointment, saying Mudzuri, who was acting leader for a while as Tsvangirai underwent treatment, or Khupe is the MDC-T's acting leader or rightful heir.

Mnangagwa said the upcoming elections in Zimbabwe, expected by July, should be free, fair and credible as a tribute to Tsvangirai. The constitution says elections should be between July 23 and August 21, though Mnangagwa has hinted they could be held earlier, perhaps in May.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led the nation in mourning Tsvangirai and his government accorded the departed opposition leader a state-assisted funeral in recognition of his role in the fight for peace and democracy.

He had beaten Mugabe in the first round of presidential elections that year but narrowly fell short of the total required to defeat Mugabe outright, according to the official vote count. "Let us all be brothers and sisters, and come together and mourn our former prime minister", he said after his visit.

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