Morgan Tsvangirai, the current Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, was rumored to be the hands on favorite to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. He of course did not win; as it was announced this morning that President Barack Obama will recieve the honor.
Born in 1952 in the central part of the country. He is the eldest child of a large family. As such he was unable to finish his education due to financial concerns and left school to help support his family. In 1974 he began working in the mines. He eventually worked his way up and then became involved with the labor unions. His influence within the unions allowed him become the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions in 1989. In 1999 he formed the MDC, The Movement for Democratic Change. He is the main opposition to Robert Mugabe. The brutal and murderous dictator of Zimbabwe.
He has been arrested many times throughout his adult life during his campaign to bring change and peace to the people of his country. One of the more recent arrests being in 2007, when he was also badly beaten. He has been arrested and tried for treason on several occassions.
Last year he was involved in a car accident while driving down a two lane highway. A truck hit them head on. This is one in a line of people who opposed Mugabe that were killed in car accidents. It has happened at least on three other occassions. He was relatively unhurt in this accident, but his wife was not so lucky and was killed.
In 2008 he ran for president, and the initial counts showed him getting 60% of the vote. As time passed the votes dwindled and was allegedy shown that he gotten only 47.9% of the vote. Zimbabwe law requires a majority to win the election outright or a runoff must be done. As the runoff got closer, the violence in the country increased and at least 300 people were murdered.
After the election Tsvangirai left the country to help settle the violence and to stay out of jail. Eventually he and Mugabe came to a power-sharing agreement and he was sworn in as prime minister on February 11 of this year.
President Obama, the first black President of the United States, won this honor simply for not being President Bush. I would not say that is far more important than what PM Tsvangirai has actually accomplished for the pursuit of peace in the world.