Monday, 27 June 2016

Tsvangirai battles cancer

EMBATTLED MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday revealed that he suffers from cancer of the colon. He was last month flown to South Africa for treatment and there had been speculation around the nature of his illness until yesterday’s revelations. 

Mr Tsvangirai said in a statement that his Zimbabwean doctors referred him to South Africa last month where his ailment was confirmed to be cancer of the colon.

“On the 8th of May 2016, my Zimbabwean doctors referred me to South Africa where a further diagnosis revealed that I’m suffering from cancer of the colon. Following the diagnosis last month, I underwent an operation last month that was successful,” he said.

“However, a diagnosis of cancer is the first of several medical procedures that include treatment through chemotherapy, which treatment I began this week.” As a result of his illness, Mr Tsvangirai missed the party’s Bulawayo demonstrations last month and in Mutare last week with his deputy Ms Thokozani Khupe taking his place.
Tsvangirai battles cancer
Mr Tsvangirai was forced to address party members in Mutare last week over the phone after his office said the day of the demo coincided with a visit to the doctors. The MDC-T leader’s revelations come at a time of reported fresh turmoil in his party with secretary general Mr Douglas Mwonzora allegedly targeting Mr Tsvangirai’s loyalists in a purge to replace them with those aligned to Ms Khupe.

According to allegations contained in a WhatsApp chat group of MDC-T members, Mr Mwonzora, allegedly working with a faction led by Ms Khupe are targeting employees and party officials deemed to be loyal to Mr Tsvangirai.

This, according to the chat group going by the name The Zimbabwean Igwee, is to pave way for Ms Khupe to ascend to the helm of the party in a “post-Tsvangirai” era. It was also alleged that the Khupe-led faction has held a number of meetings to discuss the purge of Mr Tsvangirai’s loyalists as the faction is said to have lost patience with the embattled party leader.

The chat group was reportedly closed last week after The Chronicle published the allegations. The party’s spokesperson, Mr Obert Gutu, however, dismissed the allegations as “a pack of lies and unadulterated hogwash.” He said the party was united under Mr Tsvangirai’s leadership and was not bothered by the “fabrications.”

Our sister paper The Herald also reported last week that Mr Tsvangirai’s ill health had thrown the party into serious factional fights as rival factions battle to succeed the former Prime Minister.

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