Tsvangirai coming back home




MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai

HARARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be in the country to lead his party in celebrating its 18th anniversary after surviving a serious health scare that had taken him to South Africa for emergence treatment.

By Mugove Tafirenyika

It is during his party’s anniversary celebrations that Tsvangirai is expected to outline his plan to end Zanu PF’s unbridled 37-year rule.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, told the Daily News yesterday that the former prime minister was now in “excellent health”, and raring to go.

He was discharged from a South African hospital on Tuesday after being airlifted to the neighbouring country from Harare two weeks ago after he fell ill suddenly.

The MDC president was diagnosed with colon cancer in June last year and has been receiving treatment in South Africa.

“He is out of hospital, he checked out of hospital. He is taking a rest — he will be coming soon. He is very much out of danger, he is coming home,” said Tamborinyoka.

“He will be here for the anniversary,” he added, referring to the celebrations scheduled for Mbizo Stadium in Kwekwe on October 7.

According to Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai is his old self again and he even called on people “to register to vote so as to deal with the multi-layered afflictions of the country’s political economy.”

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson said his boss wanted to know if government has come up with any contingent measures to extricate the country out of the current mess.

“I spoke to him, and he was asking kuti vanhu vari kuregister here (are people registering to vote); that’s his concern.”

“…I spoke to him for over 20 minutes this afternoon (yesterday) and the discussion was all about his concern over the deteriorating economic situation,” Tamborinyoka told the Daily News.

He declined to state when exactly the former prime minister will be returning home, citing security risks.

MDC insiders told the Daily News that Tsvangirai would return home with his wife, Elizabeth, who is away in Australia attending the graduation ceremony of her daughter.

His wife is expected back on October 5.

In his absence, party programmes are being spearheaded by his three deputies — Thokozani Khupe, Nelson Chamisa and Elias Mudzuri.

Chamisa has been filling in for him at the MDC Alliance talks, which brings together at least six parties under Tsvangirai’s wings.

In spite of his health problems, the former trade unionist has retained the confidence of the MDC Alliance.

Analysts canvassed by the Daily News have also rallied behind Tsvangirai saying he was the best candidate the opposition has despite his struggles with his health.

Tsvangirai has led the MDC since its formation in 1999.

He has lost to President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF three times.

Tsvangirai came closer to becoming Zimbabwe’s leader in the March 29, 2008 elections in which he beat the veteran Zanu PF leader but failed to gain the required votes for an outright victory.

The results of those elections were withheld for six long weeks by stunned authorities, amid widespread allegations of ballot tampering and fraud which were later given credence by former Zanu PF bigwigs who are now in opposition ranks.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the planned run-off days before polling citing massive violence and intimidation against his supporters — leaving Mugabe to stage a one-man vote which was widely condemned by the international community.

In run-up to the sham poll, Mashonaland East had witnessed horrific violence which left an estimated 200 MDC supporters dead, when Zanu PF led by war veterans went on a retribution exercise to punish people suspected to have not voted for Mugabe. – Daily News