Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance president Nelson Chamisa yesterday thanked MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe for gracing the burial of one of MDC’s founding fathers, Esaph Mdhlongwa.

Chamisa who was speaking in Ndebele thanked his rival for gracing the occasion, and for taking part in honouring the MDC founding member’s burial in Bulawayo yesterday.

Meanwhile, Khupe has been recalling Chamisa’s councillors and MPs from Council and Parliament respectively, with some accusing her of working with the ruling party ZANU-PF to destroy Chamisa.

Chamisa also thanked the late senior member of MDC.

“Thank you Ubaba Mdhlongwa for making me meet Madam Khupe after such a long, long time.

“You always make people meet even when they are not ready to meet.

“Thank you; Man of love and great honour,” said Chamisa in Ndebele, amid cheers.

He pleaded with mourners to bear with him, saying though he was not fluent in Ndebele, he saw it fit to honour the late leader in his mother language.

Apparently, Mdhlongwa, the former Pumula-Luveve MP died at Bulawayo’s Mater Dei hospital on Thursday.

He had a lengthy battle with diabetes, but family sources said he succumbed to Covid-19 after being admitted earlier this week.

Mdhlongwa worked in mines in South Africa early in his youth, where he met his first wife Emily Molefi, with whom he had his first child – the music legend Oscar ‘Oskido’ Mdhlongwa.

He returned home and worked for many years at the National Railways of Zimbabwe, where he became very active as a trade unionist.

When the MDC was formed in 1999, it drew most of its top leadership from the trade unions and students, among them Mdhlongwa.

Only four of its so-called ‘Top 10’ – Morgan Tsvangirai (president), Gibson Sibanda (vice president), Ncube (secretary general), Gift Chimanikire (deputy SG), Mdhlongwa (organising secretary), Isaac Matongo (chairman), Fletcher Dulini Ncube (treasurer general), Lucia Matibenga (women’s assembly), Learnmore Jongwe (spokesman) and Nelson Chamisa (youth assembly) are still alive. Ncube, Chamisa, Matibenga and Chimanikire are the survivors.

-Zwnews/ Zimlive