An autobiography by Zimbabwe’s MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, is to be launched in Harare this month, according to party sources. Titled At the Deep End, the book was edited by a Tsvangirai close ally, William Bango, the MDC director of Information, a former senior journalist with the old Daily News newspaper that was stopped from publishing by the Mugabe administration in September 2003. The paper has since resumed publishing under new management. This is the first book to be published about the 59-year-old Tsvangirai who rose from humble beginnings as a mine worker at Trojan Nickel Mine outside Bindura in north west Zimbabwe to be elected Secretary General of the most aggressive national labour body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and, through this, became leader of the MDC and subsequently the country’s Prime Minister in a coalition government forged with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF. The book has been distributed in some book stores in South Africa and other Sadc countries ┬áalthough ┬áit is not yet on sale but a few Zimbabweans have already seen copies of the book. One Harare based daily newspaper has carried snippets from the book and many people in Harare are now talking about the book. A senior MDC official who declined to be named said the launch of the book in Harare soon will be ┬áthe launch pad for Tsvangirai’s MDC party for the ┬áwatershed elections ┬áslated for sometime early next year.
Tsvangirai, whose party was launched in 1999, is the only Zimbabwean politician who has boldy and successfully challenged Mugabe, in power since 1980. His MDC party won 57 seats of a contested 120 a few months after it was launched in elections held in 2000. It was a great achievement and was a turning point in the country’s politics. Many observers said the 2000 elections were rigged and that Tsvangirai could have scored ┬áa much higher number of seats had the playing field been fairer.
The MDC has given Zanu PF a big run for its money in subsequent elections and in the last elections in 2008, Tsvangirai beat Zanu PF in ┬áboth parliamentary and presidential elections. ┬áMugabe ┬áordered a re-run of the presidential elections but Tsvangirai pulled out at the last minute citing gross violence against his party supporters by Zanu PF youths. Inevitably, Mugabe won a one-horse race and thus remained the president up to now.