Brave Thinkers

Illustration by Quickhoney

Name: Morgan Tsvangirai
Job: Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Why he’s brave: He stood his ground against Robert Mugabe and is now bringing some normalcy back to the country.
Quote: “There is a long line of dictators who have refused to go peacefully. And the people have removed them violently.”


Despite being beaten, threatened with assassination, and repeatedly thrown in jail, Tsvangirai continued to criticize Robert Mugabe’s victory in last year’s rigged election, and angry crowds eventually propelled him into a power-sharing deal. The new government has since brought hyperinflation under control, the stock market has reopened and surged in value, and the IMF says there are “signs of a nascent economic recovery.” A raging cholera epidemic has subsided and civil servants are finally being paid again. Tsvangirai is no saint: he’s been heavy-handed and dishonest in intraparty squabbles, and made oblique threats of popular violence. But he has reasoned throughout his career that patience and a professed commitment to the high moral ground would enable him ultimately to triumph, and that Mugabe’s brutality and ineptitude would be his undoing. And that reasoning, more than anything else, may have averted an all-out civil war.

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