I’m recovering: Tsvangirai

MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai

HARARE – Former Prime Minister in the unity government, Morgan Tsvangirai, is now out of danger.

Tsvangirai left for South Africa last month to seek urgent medical attention after his condition had suddenly deteriorated.

He had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon in June last year and has since then been undergoing treatment in the neighbouring country.

The MDC leader told South Africa’s Sabc television on Wednesday night that his doctors had been able to contain the level of tumour markers that were prevalent in his body and he was making steady progress.

“I am not in a hospital bed. I am taking a rest outside hospital. I am just taking a rest outside hospital, so I am not bed-ridden at all — I am just recovering from the treatment,” he said, after being asked how he was coping with cancer treatment.

“The treatment is going well, you know the problem with these cancer infections or ailments is the level of tumour markers that inflict (pain), so far I am grateful that we are able to contain the level of tumour markers that are prevalent. We are able to monitor its spread and I am grateful that I am making speedy recovery,” he added.

In a first among the country’s secretive political leadership, Tsvangirai disclosed in June last year that he was suffering from cancer of the colon and has been undergoing painful chemotherapy treatment in South Africa.

However, his aides have kept a heavy lid on not only the state of his health but his whereabouts.

Recently, one of his closest allies, Eddie Cross, disclosed that the former trade unionist was in excruciating pain because of the disease.

Cross, a veteran MDC lawmaker and one of Tsvangirai’s economic advisers, was surprised that the limelight had been focussed on Tsvangirai and not President Robert Mugabe who was also suffering ill-health.

Tsvangirai’s absence has left a void in his party which none of his underlings and partners in the MDC Alliance can fill.

The void has weakened the country’s largest opposition party, diminishing its capacity to capitalise on the cacophonous discord in Zanu PF that culminated in the expulsion of former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa early this week.