BULAWAYO – MDC deputy president Thokozani Khupe has appealed to ordinary Zimbabweans to pray for her boss Morgan Tsvangirai who is currently sidelined by illness.
Tsvangirai last year stunned the public when he revealed he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colony and that he was receiving treatment in neighbouring South Africa.
The former prime minister in the inclusive government was rushed to Johannesburg in September after he fell ill during a meeting of the MDC Alliance principles.
“I am appealing to all of you here to put president Morgan Tsvangirai in your prayers because he is one of those who is suffering from cancer,” Khupe told a gathering here commemorating the cancer month.
“I am sure you have heard that in the past few weeks he was not well but I met him last week and I also spoke to him yesterday. So I am saying please let’s remember him in our prayers because I know that through prayer nothing is impossible.”
The health of Tsvangirai has become a major concern not only to his supporters who see him as the only politician capable of knocking President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF off their perch, but also his party officials.
Recently, MDC lawmaker Eddie Cross said in a post that the former trade unionist was suffering from an aggressive form of colon cancer which could spread.
“He has been struggling with his treatment and the family is concerned that he might not handle the election and subsequently the responsibility of being president of a country in a deep crisis,” said Cross.
“After a lifetime of principled struggle, to have it all threatened by a disease in your body, is not fair . . . Life can be a bastard at times.”
But Khupe, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and lost one of her breasts, said although she went through medical treatment, she also received miraculous healing through “praying violently”.
“Miracles are there, I gave myself time to pray to God and I always tell people that I used to pray violently,” she said.
Khupe also highlighted the need for government to devise favourable policies that would allow cancer treatment to be affordable and accessible in all clinics countrywide.
The MDC deputy president said had she not been privileged to be the deputy prime minster during the government of national unity era, it was very possible she could have died.
“I survived because I had an opportunity of becoming the deputy prime minister, so I can imagine if I was not in that position in government, I could have died of cancer.
“So I can imagine also the suffering Zimbabweans throughout the country. They are perishing because medication is expensive, they cannot afford. This is why we are saying it is government’s mandate to ensure that medication is cheap,” said Khupe.
“Every clinic in the country should have a cancer screening facility, such that if the cancer is detected early, one can be treated early to save many cancer related deaths. Cancer is the fast rising epidemic which is now more fatal than HIV and Aids.
“Zimbabwe is rich in natural resources so it’s the duty of the government to sell those resources and invest in the country’s health system.”
Khupe launched the Thokozani Khupe Cancer Foundation in 2012 after she was diagnosed with cancer.
Her foundation seeks to alleviate the plight of cancer patients by offering advocacy campaigns, early detection programmes and assisting in policy formulation in relation to cancer issues.
According to Cancer Association of Zimbabwe, early detection of abnormalities gives the doctors better chances of offering effective treatment.
The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says globally 12, 7 million are diagnosed with cancer every year while 7, 6 million people die from the disease annually. – Daily News