Raila leaves for Zimbabwe to attend Tsvangirai’s burial
Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Monday afternoon left the country for Zimbabwe.
Mr Odinga will be attending the burial of his long-time friend and Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who died last Wednesday after a long battle with colon cancer.
The National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader left Nairobi for Harare, the capital of the southern African country, at 1pm.
He will then travel to Buhera, some 300 kilometres from Harare where the MDC leader will be laid to rest on Tuesday, his spokesman Dennis Onyango said in a statement sent to newsrooms.
Mr Odinga and Mr Tsvangirai first met in 1993 when Mr Odinga led an International Republican Institute team to train political parties and civil society in Zimbabwe for the multi-party elections that were approaching then.
At that time, Mr Tsvangirai was with Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum— a civil society organisation founded in 1992 to ensure that Zimbabweans are informed about human rights and are empowered to defend their own rights.
The two then formed a friendship that saw Mr Tsvangirai frequent Kenya both on family and political visits to back his ally, the former Kenyan prime minister.
When Mr Odinga’s first born son Fidel Makarios Odhiambo Odinga died in 2015, Mr Tsvangirai was at the burial in Bondo, Siaya County, to condole with the Odingas.
Mr Tsvangirai was also present when Mr Odinga was named ODM presidential elections flag-bearer in December 2012.
His death, Mr Odinga said, leaves a gap in a country that still needs 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 his country and his people despite the firm hands of dictatorship that held sway,” said Mr Odinga.