Johannesburg – Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader and former prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, is in a stable condition at an undisclosed South African hospital after being airlifted from Harare in the early hours of Friday morning.
“President Morgan Tsvangirai, who flew to South Africa for a routine medical procedure, is in a very stable condition contrary to morbid media reports that he is critical and is battling for his life,” said Tsvangirai’s spokesperson and Director of Communications for the Movement of Democratic Change, Luke Tamborinyoka.
The News Day, an independent daily in Zimbabwe, said Tsvangirai had fallen ill during an MDC Alliance strategic meeting in Kadoma on Thursday. The report said he had returned to Harare where his condition had worsened.
“He was on oxygen and drip and had been vomiting heavily,” the paper said in its report.
Tsvangirai, 65, announced last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon and that he had begun chemotherapy.
Tsvangirai in good health and spirits
“True to form, the people’s leader is more worried about the plight of Zimbabweans than his own condition.”
“This morning, he was assuring Zimbabweans he will be home soon; urging the nation to co-operate with the on-going nationwide exercise to acquire birth certificates and national registration documents that will enable them to exercise their right to vote,” said Tamborinyoka.
Tamborinyoka said the former prime minister had urged Zimbabweans to turn out for voter registration in their multitudes, “so as to deal with the multiple cancers afflicting the nation that include corruption and a clueless leadership that is concentrating on succession battles at the expense of the plight of the ordinary people.”
“In his usual light-hearted manner, President Tsvangirai said he was more worried about the country’s health, urging Zimbabweans to vote wisely next year, so as to deal with the multi-layered afflictions of the country’s political economy,” he said.
Tsvangirai urged the nation not to panic about his health, saying he will be home soon to play his part in canvassing for massive participation in next year’s watershed polls.
Tsvangirai’s party has been riven by divisions since he struck a troubled four-year power-sharing deal with Mugabe after violent and disputed elections in 2008.
The former trade union leader has often accused Mugabe and his government of rigging polls.
In 2008 Tsvangirai won 47.9% of the vote to Mugabe’s 43.2%, which led to a run-off.
But Tsvangirai pulled out before the final round of voting after a spate of violence against his supporters.