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Zimbabwe: "Nation's Mother" Remembered

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Uploaded on Mar 11, 2009

SHAKESPEAR:
Today's top story... Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has joined the nation mourning for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife. He also says Zimbabweans should support his old rival in rebuilding the shattered country.
STORY:
Zimbabwe's prime minister walks to church with his son.

They're saying goodbye to Susan Tsvangirai - Morgan Tsvangirai's wife of 31 years. The 51-year-old was killed in a car crash last week. Her husband survived the collision with a lorry.

The couple's six children were at the funeral, so was Zimbabwe's president - Tsvangirai's former rival Robert Mugabe.

He called her death an "act of God" and urged mourners to end violence and support Tsvangirai's government.

After the funeral a memorial service was held at a stadium in Harare.

Susan Tsvangirai was known by some as the "Mother of the Nation".

Thousands flocked to pay their respects - the country's Finance Minister spoke for many.

[Tendai Biti, Finance Minister]:
"Many of us are in pain, but the majority of us were so shocked that we couldn't feel the pain. We were so traumatized and brutalized we couldn't feel the pain."

Tsvangirai's son Edwin also spoke of his pain.

[Edwin Tsvangirai, Susan Tsvangirais Son]:
"I just want to emphasize one thing, my mother lying here, I know she is in a very special place today."

Many Zimbabweans have had suspicions about the cause of the crash.

But Tsvangirai has ruled out foul play.

He has enough problems with his new unity government without such complications.

The International Monetary Fund has just refused to disburse much-needed funding until the country clears its arrears and demonstrates responsible economic policies.

Tsvangirai now has to do that without his wife by his side.

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