The late MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai

THE memorial of the late MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been moved from this month to May, with the opposition party saying the current environment characterised by a crackdown against protesters and democracy activists was not conducive to hold a befitting commemoration for the party founder.

Tsvangirai died on February 14 last year and his family and party had initially planned to have the memorial held this month, but the crackdown by State security agents against MDC activists and officials has resulted in many of them going into hiding.

MDC spokesperson Jacob Mafume said the current conditions were not right for such an event.

“As a party, we are looking forward to giving our founding leader a befitting memorial,” he said.

“What is in doubt is the conditions currently prevailing in the country, whether there will be sufficient freedom of speech and freedom of movement.

“The conditions in the country right now are making it difficult for the party to organise but we are hoping we will be able to properly prepare and give our former leader a suitable memorial.”

Family spokesperson Manase Tsvangirai said the new date was May 4. He said the family needed ample time to prepare for the memorial, hence the postponement.

“We want to put a befitting memorial to Tsvangirai and, thus, we changed the dates. This will give people ample time to prepare,” he said.

“In fact, we looked at many factors and we came to the conclusion that we should shift. Tsvangirai was a big man, we need to prepare for a befitting memorial.”

Although he fought the Zanu PF regime, Tsvangirai was honoured with a State-assisted funeral.newsday