Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe remains unwell – spokesperson

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Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who is currently hospitalised in South Africa remains unwell but stable, his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka says.

“He is unwell; I last spoke with him on Wednesday morning.

“But we expect him home soon,’’ Tamborinyoka said while addressing a news conference to clarify the appointment of acting president in the party in the absence of the bed-ridden Tsvangirai, who is battling with colon cancer. Tsvangirai has been in and out of hospital since he disclosed in 2016 that he had colon cancer.

However, in recent months, his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has been riddled with infighting among his three deputies who are reportedly vying to succeed him. His three deputies are Thokozani Khupe, Elias Mudzuri and Nelson Chamisa.

The infighting is coming just a few months before national elections set for mid this year. Analysts say if not urgently addressed, the infighting could seriously affect the party’s preparations and chances of winning the election. The MDC-T is the major opposition political party to emerge in post-independence Zimbabwe and has posed the stiffest challenge to the ruling ZANU-PF party.

In 2008, Tsvangirai won more presidential votes than former president Robert Mugabe but not enough to secure him an outright win. The two political parties eventually formed a power-sharing government in 2009 with Mugabe as the president while Tsvangirai was the Prime Minister.

The coalition government ended in 2013 when ZANU-PF won a landslide victory. In spite of battling ill health, Tsvangirai has been chosen as the presidential candidate for the MDC Alliance, a coalition of seven opposition political parties seeking to challenge the ruling ZANU-PF in the 2018 polls.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded former president Mugabe after he resigned in November, has been chosen as ZANU-PF’s presidential candidate in the polls. NAN