Friday, March 6, 2009

Zim Disaster Gets Worse: Tsvangirai Hurt, Wife Killed

As if the Zimbabwe disaster didn't have enough to break your heart, now Morgan Tsvangirai has been hurt in a car accident that, according to some sources, also seems to have killed his wife, Susan Tsvangirai. Let's hope those sources are wrong. (Picture here is file art from 2003).

I didn't know Susan in my years covering Zimbabwe for the Post, but I knew Morgan Tsvangirai reasonably well, or as well as reporters know public figures who they see occasionally. He never struck me as the best strategic thinker potentially available in a nation of super-bright, super-educated people, but I never doubted his devotion to the cause. There are some ugly incidents in his party's past, as there are for most political movements in Africa and elsewhere, but mostly I sensed a basic decency about Tsvangirai. Even if I'm wrong about this, the man suffered for his convictions, even before this accident.

I remembered visiting him at his house in Harare, a few days after Mugabe's thugs beat him and 50 other MDC activists into a bloody mess in March 2007. The stiches were still visible in the patch of missing hair on his head. He was surrounded by some friends, relaxing in the garden, trying to figure out a way forward in political dynamic more complex than even attentive outsiders could grasp.

I'll be among those sending my good wishes out to Tsvangirai, and to the Zimbabwean people, and praying that truly better news starts flowing out of there soon.

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