Ts­van­gi­rai ill­ness takes its toll on MDC-T

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Nduduzo Tshuma Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

MDC-T na­tional ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber Mr Ed­die Cross has re­vealed that his boss, Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai’s, ill­ness is tak­ing a toll on the op­po­si­tion leader that he may fail to take part in the 2018 elec­tions.

This is the first rev­e­la­tion on the state of Mr Ts­van­gi­rai’s health that has been kept un­der wraps by both party and fam­ily with his spokesper­son Mr Luke Tam­borinyoka re­peat­edly say­ing the former Prime Min­is­ter was mak­ing a steady re­cov­ery.

How­ever, in an ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Not Fair” pub­lished on his web­site, Mr Cross paints a gloomy pic­ture on the health of the former trade union­ist’s life and says his fam­ily thinks he no longer has strength to pur­sue pol­i­tics.

Mr Cross has used his web­site in re­cent weeks to dis­cuss cru­cial party is­sues. Be­fore the latest ar­ti­cle, he torched a storm after he ac­cused some MDC-T and Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) of sab­o­tag­ing the for­ma­tion of an op­po­si­tion al­liance by pur­su­ing a tribal agenda.

He also notes how the MDC-T that once en­joyed fund­ing from hos­tile western coun­tries to push a regime change agenda has hit hard times re­sult­ing in the op­po­si­tion party fail­ing to pay its em­ploy­ees.

“Now, just as we ex­pect a wave of sup­port for our 2018 Chakachia pro­gramme, he is suf­fer­ing from an ag­gres­sive form of colon cancer (sic),” writes Mr Cross.

“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. After a life time of prin­ci­pled strug­gle, to have it all threat­ened by a dis­ease in your body. Life can be a bastard at times.”

How­ever, MDC-T sec­re­tary general Mr Dou­glas Mwon­zora yes­ter­day dis­missed Mr Cross’ claims as mere spec­u­la­tion.

“We don’t know where Honourable Cross is get­ting that from. It is con­jec­ture, the pres­i­dent will be back ei­ther to­mor­row (to­day) or the day after. I have spo­ken to him (Mr Ts­van­gi­rai) and he was in high spir­its and is ready to come back to work so I don’t see any rea­son to fear,” he said.

Mr Ts­van­gi­rai, who re­vealed last June that he was bat­tling cancer of the colon, was last month air­lifted to South Africa after his con­di­tion dras­ti­cally de­te­ri­o­rated dur­ing a work­shop in Kadoma.

The MDC-T pres­i­dent was re­port­edly on oxy­gen sup­port and drip when he was fer­ried by an am­bu­lance to the air­port and left for South Africa in the com­pany of his wife, El­iz­a­beth, his med­i­cal doc­tor and an anaes­thetist.

Mr Ts­van­gi­rai who is has been in South Africa ever since, is ex­pected in the coun­try this week. His deputy, Ms Thokozani Khupe, is act­ing party pres­i­dent.

At the time his health de­te­ri­o­rated, Mr Ts­van­gi­rai had fallen out with Ms Khupe, party na­tional chair­man Mr Love­more Moyo and na­tional or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary Mr Abed­nico Bhebhe as they failed to agree on the for­ma­tion of an op­po­si­tion coali­tion un­der the ban­ner of MDC Al­liance.

Mr Ts­van­gi­rai’s ill­ness has also reignited suc­ces­sion pol­i­tics within the trou­bled party with a clique call­ing on him to step down and make way for one of his deputies Mr Nel­son Chamisa to take charge of the party and con­test for the pres­i­dency in the 2018 elec­tions.

Mr Chamisa, on one hand, re­port­edly leads a fac­tion an­gling for him to suc­ceed Mr Ts­van­gi­rai and is in­volved in a fierce tus­sle with an­other re­port­edly led by Ms Khupe.

Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai

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