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Tsvangirai Illness Raises Fears of MDC-T Fragmentation

  • Gibbs Dube

FILE: Morgan Tsvangirai addressing supporters in Harare.

FILE: Morgan Tsvangirai addressing supporters in Harare.

Zimbabweans from all walks of life in Mutare expressed shock at the news that the country’s main opposition party leader Morgan Richard Tsvangirai has cancer of the colon.

The Movement for Democratic Change founding president revealed this Monday, raising alarm among supporters that the party may face serious challenges while the former trade unionist is receiving treatment in South Africa.

Local resident Lewis Kashiri says Tsvangirai’s illness may trigger internal factionalism in the party.

“It is a very big blow to the party, the MDC and Zimbabwe at large, especially with the political climate which is in Zimbabwe right now. It is like Tsvangirai is the last man standing who we were counting on to fight the ruling party and now if Tsvangirai gets sick or is diagnosed with cancer which is a very serious disease, I am afraid of infighting in the party. We were looking forward to be together in 2018 for the final push,” says Kashiri.

Several other residents, including Rutendo Hungwe, expressed the same sentiments hoping for his speedy recovery.

“This is a tough situation to his family and his supporters and at large, and I wish him a quick recovery so he continues with the work that he and others in the MDC started in 1999.”

MDC-T activist, Mercy Nkomo of Zimta suburb, said the news of Tsvangirai’s illness has affected a lot of people, who hope that God will help him to recover from the disease.

“It is with great sadness that we have learnt of his illness and we hope the Lord will be with him and that he will be treated urgently and hope that his wife and family will keep on supporting him and as the Lord is a protector of all of us … We know that he is with him and everything will be well.”

Zanu PF activist, Robson Ngarivume, said it is sad that Tsvangirai has cancer of the colon.

Tsvangirai is currently in South Africa where he is receiving chemotherapy. The MDC-T leadership says it is unlikely that the party will plunge into a crisis as Tsvangirai gets some medical attention.