By Joseph Winter, BBC News online Africa Editor
Morgan Tsvangirai was an incredibly brave man who risked his life to stand up to the authoritarian rule of Robert Mugabe.
He did not succeed in ousting Mr Mugabe – due to the intimidation of his supporters and some blatant rigging – but he did at least live to see the downfall of his long-time rival.
Although he was obviously very sick, he even travelled home from South Africa, where he was being treated, for the occasion.
But in purely political terms, Mr Mugabe always managed to get the better of the charismatic former union leader – especially when he was prime minister and they were supposedly sharing power.
Some of his ex-comrades in the MDC, which he founded, accused him of dictatorial tendencies and the party split several times.
Now, the MDC will have the formidable task of trying to unite and mount a credible challenge to Mr Mugabe’s successor Emmerson Mnangagwa in this year’s elections.