Morgan Tsvangirai is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and leader of the biggest faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
Morgan Tsvangirai was born in 1952, and left school early to go work on a mine. He spent ten years working in the mining industry, rising to the position of general foreman and becoming a union activist.
Starting as the branch chairperson of the Associated Mine Workers Union, he later became Secretary-General of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), the most powerful union position in the country. Under Tsvangirai's leadership, the ZCTU moved away from the ruling Zanu-PF.
In 1999, Tsvangirai entered politics, founding the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He ran for president in 2002, finishing second with 42 percent of the vote. He is running again for president in 2008.
Tsvangirai has been the target of violence over the years. He has lived through three assassination attempts, including one in 1997 in which unknown assailants tried to push him out of a 10th storey window.
Tsvangirai has also been arrested and charged with treason twice, and accused of inciting violence. Both cases were eventually dismissed.
In March 2007, Tsvangirai was arrested on the way to a prayer meeting in Harare and beaten a local police station. A member of parliament who was arrested with Tsvangirai told BBC News that Tsvangirai suffered a cracked skull and "must have passed out at least three times."
Agence-France Presse reported that President Robert Mugabe later said, while reporting to his party on a meeting with fellow southern African leaders: "Yes, I told them he was beaten but he asked for it... We got full backing, not even one (leader) criticised our actions."
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