MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai was hospitalised at a private hospital in Harare over the past two days owing to what party insiders termed a “mental” and “nervous” breakdown.
Though his spokesperson Mr Luke Tamborinyoka denied that the former Prime Minister in the inclusive Government had been hospitalised at the facility in Belgravia, saying he had only been visiting the institution daily for treatment, The Herald has established that Mr Tsvangirai’s wife, Ms Elizabeth Macheka, visited her husband at the institution on Monday and Tuesday.
Initial reports hinted on food poisoning, but sources close to developments, say personal and political developments appear to have weighed down on Mr Tsvangirai who has been holding rallies countrywide in a bid to outwit a lobby against his continued leadership of the main opposition party.
Sources said Mr Tsvangirai was admitted on Sunday, the day he missed the second consecutive rally he was scheduled to address at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield.
“Tsvangirai came here on Sunday, briefly left, and then came back later in the day after which he was admitted. Elizabeth (Macheka, his estranged wife) visited him today (Tuesday). Indications are that he has had a mental and maybe a nervous breakdown,” the hospital official said.
An MDC-T source added: “The marital and political problems that Mr Tsvangirai is facing seem to have taken a toll on him. Remember his marriage has not fared well and the party is in turmoil. This seems to have affected our leader.”
But Mr Tamborinyoka last night denied that his boss had been hospitalised, saying he had been visiting the institution and returning home.
“Mr Tsvangirai has been unwell and has been coming to the city centre to see his doctor and going back home. He has not been hospitalised as you are claiming. His doctor has directed that he rests at home and that is what he has been religiously doing.”
Mr Tsvangirai has failed to attend two rallies in as many weeks.
He was a no-show in Glen View a fortnight ago, and did not pitch up for another rally in Highfield on Sunday.
Mr Tamborinyoka on Sunday told the media that his boss was under the weather.
Early this year, his wife Ms Macheka, who left the matrimonial home over several issues, told The Herald that Mr Tsvangirai was not well, but would not say what the ailment was.
The two were living separately with Ms Macheka residing in Borrowdale and Mr Tsvangirai occupying a State residence in Highlands that he moved into when he was prime minister in the inclusive Government.
Through this, the MDC-T party he leads has fragmented with his secretary-general, Mr Tendai Biti, leading a revolt that has seen a spate of claimed suspensions and expulsions from the formation.
A party source said the combined pressures of work and marital woes had taken their toll on Mr Tsvangirai, despite his insistence to private media that he was fit.
“Mudhara ari pa tight. Kwese, kumba nekubasa hazvina kumira mushe. (The boss is in a tight spot. He is not finding joy both at home and at work),” the official said.
Early this year, The Herald confirmed that Ms Macheka had walked out of the matrimonial home, just a few months before factional fighting tore MDC-T apart.
This came after Mr Tsvangirai and MDC-T suffered a crushing defeat to President Mugabe and Zanu-PF in last year’s harmonised elections that ended that inclusive Government.
Ms Macheka, who earlier this year told The Herald that her husband had an undisclosed illness that was affecting their marital life, was not reachable for comment.