Morgan Tsvangirai, the enduring face of Zimbabwe's opposition

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Zimbabwean opposition leader and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who came close to toppling Robert Mugabe's authoritarian government 10 years ago, has died in Johannesburg after a long battle with cancer.

A hefty electoral defeat in 2013, blamed in part on Tsvangirai's involvement in two sex scandals, put paid to his dreams of one day leading the southern African nation and three years later he revealed he was being treated for colon cancer.

For all that, Tsvangirai appeared in recent months to be attempting a comeback, even as he made frequent trips overseas for colon cancer treatment.

He served as Zimbabwe's prime minister with Robert Mugabe as president under a power-sharing arrangement that lasted between 2009 and 2013.

The sad incident was confirmed by one of his party leaders.

After running in a tightly contested election against Mugabe in 2008, Tsvangirai pulled out of the second round voting, stating a free and fair vote was impossible as his supporters faced violence and imprisonment at the hands of Mugabe's security forces.

"He wanted us to win this election in 2018 and I hope the top leadership is going to unify and beat ZANU-PF".

Sarkaal katirsan Xisibigiisa MDC ayaa xaqiijiyay in Tsvangirai uu u geeriyooday xanuunka Kansarka dhanka caloosha uga dhacay, oo mudo la xanuunsanayay.

Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, passed away on Wednesday.

"As you are aware, the president of our party and first secretary, President ED Mnangagwa and our Vice President Constantino Chiwenga recently visited him to wish him well".

Tsvangirai addresses an MDC rally in Mutare in 2000.

The eldest in a family of nine, Tsvangirai was born on March 10, 1952, in the Gutu district of Masvingo province, in central Zimbabwe. He pushed #Zimbabwe's pro-democracy struggle further than anyone. The family was poor, and Tsvangirai abandoned formal schooling early to start work, first as a textile weaver and then as a plant foreman in a nickel mine.

Zimbabwe was plunged into grief Thursday following the death of veteran opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, roundly praised as a hero, champion of democracy and symbol of resistance who will be hard to replace.

Tsvangirai became involved in union activities and was elected to the executive of the National Mine Workers Union.