OPPOSITION MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai has been rushed to South Africa for treatment over a yet-to-be disclosed ailment.
In a statement yesterday, the party’s secretary-general, Douglas Mwonzora, said Tsvangirai was flown out early this week.
“Tsvangirai was taken ill. On the advice of doctors, he had to travel to South Africa for treatment. Yesterday (Wednesday) he successfully underwent a medical procedure and is recuperating well in South Africa,” he said without disclosing further details, including the name of the hospital.
Party sources told NewsDay the MDC-T leader was being treated for a fatigue-induced ailment at a private hospital in Johannesburg.
Last month, Tsvangirai looked frail when he led his party’s anti-government demonstration in Harare, but the opposition leader dismissed reports he was unwell as speculative, insisting he was “as fit as a fiddle”.
This was after a State media columnist, Nathaniel Manheru, revealed to be President Robert Mugabe’s spokesman, George Charamba, raised concerns over Tsvangirai’s health.
Said Tsvangirai then: “I think that Charamba must realise that he cannot compare me with his boss. If Mugabe is frail, it doesn’t mean that Tsvangirai is frail as well. I am healthy and I don’t have any health problems. In fact, [during the march] it was my wife (Elizabeth Macheka), who was balancing on me because she was wearing shoes that made her require some balance from me. But the long and short of it is that I don’t have any health problems.”
Tsvangirai last month failed to attend the burial of Harare councillor, Farai Muzhinyi with acting mayor, Chris Mbanga telling mourners that the party leader was bedridden.
Tsvangirai has been vocal about Mugabe and his family’s expensive medical trips to Asia, saying the First Family should use local health facilities and save on taxpayers’ money.
But, MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu yesterday defended Tsvangirai’s decision to seek treatment in South Africa.
“You should know that there is certain specialist medical attention that is not locally available in Zimbabwe because the Zanu PF regime has trashed the health delivery system over the past few decades,” he said.
“As a political party, the MDC doesn’t approve of a system where leaders have to travel outside Zimbabwe to seek medical treatment for ailments that can be effectively and efficiently treated locally. That’s our main bone of contention.
“You will recall that at one time, President Mugabe travelled all the way to Singapore to seek treatment for an eye cataract, a condition that can be effectively treated by local eye specialists,” he said.