MDC-T jittery over ailing Tsvangirai

Mr Tsvangirai

Mr Tsvangirai

Herald Reporter
PANIC has gripped the MDC-T amid revelations that party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s close associates have followed him to South Africa to monitor his condition after he was flown there as an emergency case early morning last Friday.

Mr Tsvangirai was reportedly carried into a private plane on a stretcher at Harare International Airport around 2am, although his office sought to downplay the incident, insisting the MDC-T leader had flown to South Africa for a routine medical check-up.

While Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka, yesterday insisted that the opposition leader was well, party officials stressed he was in bad shape and that his close associates, the Makone family, had joined him in South Africa.

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The officials said it would be advisable to tell the truth about Mr Tsvangirai’s condition to avoid unhelpful speculation which could only hurt the party and cause panic among followers.

Mr Tsvangirai was airlifted to South Africa after his condition drastically deteriorated during a workshop in Kadoma. He was recently diagnosed with cancer of the colon and has been receiving chemotherapy in South Africa for some time.

“We wish the president very well but he is still in the woods,” said a senior MDC-T official.

He added: “Yes, he is responding to medication but his condition is not changing and that is our major worry. What is worrying us is that he keeps issuing statements through Tamborinyoka saying he is stable and urging people to vote yet it is clear he is not well. This attitude is not helpful.

“He has been going for routine check-ups for some time now but the fact that he was hurriedly airlifted at a workshop in the company of a doctor is clear evidence that he is seriously ill. You cannot fool people like that.”

The official said MDC-T members were also irked by the manner Mr Tsvangirai’s illness was being handled by party officials.

“What has irked other senior party members is the way the president’s sickness is being handled by members of the ‘kitchen cabinet’ such as the Makones. They are ring fencing the president and want to appear as if they are the ones who love him more than any other party members.” Another source said Mr Tsvangirai’s illness had plunged the whole party into confusion about the future if he were incapacitated beyond recovery.

“Remember, we have three vice presidents and our constitution is silent on the issue of succession,” said the source, who sits in the MDC-T’s standing committee.

“Dr Thokozani Khupe is the deputy responsible for administration, Engineer Elias Mudzuri is responsible for organising and Advocate Nelson Chamisa is responsible for international relations,” said the source.

“None of them can claim to be superior to the other although those sympathetic to Chamisa are already touting him as the possible successor,” he said.

“The truth of the matter is that the constitution is silent about that matter and the appointment of Eng Mudzuri and Adv Chamisa was never meant to deal with the succession issue but factionalism that was threatening to tear the movement apart.”

He said it was important for Mr Tsvangirai to appoint someone senior to act in his capacity whenever he travels outside the country for whatever reason. This, he said, would help in coordinating communication and give it more authority.

Throughout the weekend and yesterday, Mr Tamborinyoka insisted Mr Tsvangirai was well and that he was urging people to register in readiness to vote in next’s elections.

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  • Tafirenyika

    R.G. has never been flown out of the country on a stretcher and on oxygen!

    • Ak


  • kutototo

    Get well soon Save ndimi mega chikara che Zanu.

    • ivhukuvanhu chete chete

      Get well soon Save ndimi mega ‘chikara chisina meno (mazino) cheZanu p.f.
      The difference in the two major political party are that; THE OPPOSITION Mdc-alliance followers always wish the President of ruling party ‘dead’ , unlike the ruling party followers who exudes unhu, ubuntu, wabantu; do not wish others to suffer from spirits of death.
      zanu P.F followers are mature!

    • Stewart Mwonzora

      With God everything is possible

  • Gandanga Matigari

    I have seen some people lobbying for Chamisa, well it is their democratic right. However, some of us who were students in the late 90s know how manipulative he is. Above all, he speaks and does nothing. Remember, he is the guy who cost MDC in 2013 when he started issuing out seats to the likes of Eric Knight, who flew in to stand in Mbare leading to the loss of the seat.

  • L. Makombe

    May the Lord’s might divine healing be upon Mr Tsvangirai.

  • Taneta

    Get well soon Save. Zimbabwe needs you.

  • Cecil Roars

    This man, like his nemesis should just retire. I really do not understand how an African brain is wired.

  • Ak

    Even in uk

    • Cecil Roars

      Who has overstayed in the UK and who hanged on after a controversial election? Who is as old as RG or as sick as Morgan? Some people just want to say something.

      • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

        If people exercise their democratic rights and vote for whoever, is that not the beauty or irony of democracy? Are you looking at “guided democracy“, where you tell those who choose who they want to be wrong and overruled somehow ?

  • mandevu

    Herald you are trying hard to build this picture of us and them – government and opposition – and paying lip service to the opposition. In reality, no body really cares about the politics of Zimbabwe – but what is really troubling is the fact that the ruling party – not the “revolutionary party” you want to describe – has been responsible for the devastating conditions that now are present in this country. Shame on you for trying to hoodwink us into believing otherwise. Shame on you for your support of Zanu PF although most well respected journalists would long ago have abandoned them. Shame on you for not admitting your mistakes

  • mandevu

    Like the herald trying to distract attention from the real problem – Zanu PF

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    When you get concrete evidence about any rigging, the courts are there at your disposal. You are either ignorant on the sanctions issue or you fear disappointing those who handle your MDT , to admit the negative effects of sanctions. Yaa , human rights include the right to be ignorant or follow foolish and un- patriotic politics. Suit yourself as you enjoy your myopic political nirvana.

  • Stewart Mwonzora

    If ‘i’ can be replaced by ‘we’ then illness will be wellness.

  • Stewart Mwonzora

    Good point

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Yaa, she`s non executive with mainly ceremonial function , like we used to have our Pres Banana. We are a Republic.

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    Not true for all countries. Where terms are limited that is no longer happening. We changed our constitution in Zim. No one will overstay beyond two terms. We take our blame if any, or responsibility for not changing our constitution since 1980.