20/02/2018 16:07 SAST | Updated 20/02/2018 16:07 SAST

Malema's Tsvangirai Tribute Raises Mugabe's 2008 Election Theft

The EFF leader sent a glowing tribute to the late MDC leader ahead of his funeral, acknowledging that he did in fact win Zimbabwe's 2008 election.

Philimon Bulawayo / Reuters

EFF leader Julius Malema has reportedly paid tribute to Zimbabwe's long time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died of colon cancer last Wednesday.

According to NewsDay, Malema described as "nonsensical" the manner in which Tsvangirai was denied power by former president Robert Mugabe after winning elections in 2008. He said this would never be allowed to happen in South Africa.

Tsvangirai was not allowed to take over as leader of the country by Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party after winning elections in 2008. He was forced into a government of national unity, after which he lost elections in 2013 to Mugabe.

"We say to the people of Zimbabwe, the Tsvangirai family, the friends and his colleagues in the MDC, please receive our revolutionary greetings. We may have not agreed with the politics of Morgan Tsvangirai, but we fully admit that indeed he won the elections and the regime didn't allow him to become the leader of the people of Zimbabwe," Malema was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, who arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday, was set to attend Tsvangirai's funeral on Tuesday.

According to, Odinga said that Tsvangirai's death had "left a gap in a country that needed strong and vigilant forces of change to return to the path of democracy and freedom".

"Morgan dared to dream of democracy, freedom and justice for the country and his people despite the firm hands of dictatorship that held sway," Odinga was quoted as saying.

Tsvangirai was expected to be laid to rest in his rural home village of Buhera on Tuesday.