Receiving the award the MDC president said:"I can assure you that as we move towards elections let it be the end of acrimony, of hate speech, of reconciliation for the country."
The MDC president said the honour belongs to the people of Zimbabwe.
"This honour is not mine. I would like to dedicate this honour on those people, Zimbabweans who have struggled with us for true democracy for the objective of having freedom in this country," Tsvangirai said.
He added:"Yes, I am individual but an individual can never achieve the objective of a nation unless the people themselves put full complimentarity and support to that objective.
"I know that we have been independent as a country but definately we have not been free in a number of occasions. I give testimony to the subjection of this country to state sponsored violence, unnecessarily we have shed blood in this country. I am glad President Mugabe has stated quite openly that no more shedding of blood.
"I believe that statement represent a very positive step of this transition.
We have been in this transition for the last three and half years and I hope it has brought stability and some hope to the people of this country that the future is actually much more brighter than we have experienced over the last 10 years," Tsvangirai said.
He said the honour must be “a testimony to a future what Zimbabwe really has to be. My country has been in the news for wrong reasons and I think we can be news for right reasons.
“This is a special honor, to present to you on behalf of President of the French Republic the insignia of Commander of the Legion of Honor.
It is a particular event which will enlighten my mission in Zimbabwe,”
Francois Ponge, the French Ambassador to Zimbabwe said.
The Ambassador said the Legion of Honor is a highest French decoration. It was founded by Napoleon (Bonaparte) over 200 years ago to acknowledge the exceptional merits of French citizens in the military as well as in the civil society. The latter though initially put on the same level as the first; at that time there was a tendency to favor the military field.
The Legion of Honor was granted to foreigners “because, by decorating them, France wanted to give an example to its own children, as well as to the rest of the world.”
The ambassador the premier for his sacrifices as a trade unionist and as a politician as well.
“More qualified by all these commitments, trials and tribulations than any top universities worldwide you then wanted to place your stone in the building of your country by founding the Movement for Democratic Change.
“Your concern for the good of the people was stronger than your legitimate ambition and one can only salute your dedication during that time.
“From your distant land you brought before us the image of a man devoted to national reconciliation and we were pleased, beyond the clichés that plagued the GPA (Global Political Agreement), had opened a way for the peaceful end of the long crisis experienced by the people of Zimbabwe,” Ponge said.Post published in: News