Zimbabwe op­po­si­tion chief hos­pi­tal­ized in South Africa


HARARE: Zimbabwe’s main op­po­si­tion leader and for­mer prime min­is­ter, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai, has been hos­pi­tal­ized in South Africa af­ter his health de­te­ri­o­rated, a se­nior party of­fi­cial said on Saturday.

“He is in South Africa on ac­count of a med­i­cal cause. He is be­ing at­tended to,” said a se­nior of­fi­cial from Ts­van­gi­rai’s Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC).

“We are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion. He will be fine, it’s only that he was over­whelmed with work and his health de­te­ri­o­rated.”

The MDC spokesman could not be reached for com­ment.

Ts­van­gi­rai, 65, an­nounced last year that he had been di­ag­nosed with cancer of the colon and that he had be­gun chemo­ther­apy.

The News Day, an in­de­pen­dent daily, said Ts­van­gi­rai was air­lifted to South Africa early on Friday morn­ing af­ter he fell ill.

“He was on oxy­gen and drip and had been vom­it­ing heav­ily,” the pa­per said in its re­port.

Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe, 93, Ts­van­gi­rai’s ri­val for over a decade, reg­u­larly flies to Sin­ga­pore, re­port­edly for med­i­cal rea­sons. Most de­tails about his health have never been con­firmed.

Ts­van­gi­rai’s party has been riven by di­vi­sions since he struck a trou­bled four-year power-shar­ing deal with Mu­gabe af­ter vi­o­lent and dis­puted elec­tions in 2008.

The for­mer trade union leader has of­ten ac­cused Mu­gabe and his govern­ment of rig­ging polls.

In 2008, Ts­van­gi­rai won 47.9 per­cent of the vote to Mu­gabe’s 43.2 per­cent, which led to a run-off.

But Ts­van­gi­rai pulled out be­fore the fi­nal round of vot­ing af­ter a spate of vi­o­lence against his sup­port­ers.

Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai

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