MDC-T yesterday tried to play down former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s latest health problems, saying the party’s leader was in a stable condition after he was airlifted to a South African hospital on Friday.
Reports of Tsvangirai’s sickness sparked panic among his supporters who yesterday took to Twitter and Facebook to express their fears.
Tsvangirai was forced to prematurely leave Kadoma where the MDC Alliance leaders were holding a retreat after he fell ill and was transferred to a medical facility in the neighbouring country when his health deteriorated.
However, his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka claimed reports that the MDC-T leader was in a critical condition were not true.
“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.”
The former trade unionist was diagnosed with cancer of the colon last year and has been receiving treatment in South Africa since then.
But the latest health scare is likely to embolden Tsvangirai’s rivals who want him to give way to a new leader as the opposition prepares to tackle President Robert Mugabe in next year’s elections.
Meanwhile, MDC Alliance spokesperson Jacob Ngarivhume said Tsvangirai had actively participated at the Kadoma meeting before his sudden departure.
“The MDC Alliance leader Morgan Tsvangirai gave guidance and direction to the strategic workshop,” he said.
“As a leader of the alliance, he had to give his input on critical issues shaping the agenda of the alliance.
“From the alliance’s point of view, he was at the workshop and his contribution was sharp and very useful.
“As the leader of the alliance, he played his part and we absolutely saw no problem at all with any of his contributions.
“There is absolutely no need for anybody to worry. We are very happy with the way he led the workshop and we absolutely have no reason to panic for whatever reason.”
Ngarivhume said the opposition party leaders had crafted an election campaign strategy and a roadmap for 2018 elections.
Opposition parties including Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party and Nkosana Moyo’s Alliance for the People’s Agenda rallied to Tsvangirai’s side, wishing him a speedy recovery.