Zimbabwean ailing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s family has reportedly broken the silence over his health, saying that they have authorised the Movement for Democratic Change party’s acting president Elias Madzuri to comment on his condition.
Tsvangirai was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, and has since been in and out of hospital for treatment.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Tsvangirai’s two sons, Collins and Manasa said in a statement that they appreciated the party for allowing their ailing father a time off.
“…During this period, we shall provide the party and the public with updates on the progress he is making but only through the MDC acting president to avoid any misunderstandings, until he is back to full health and re-joins his colleagues in completing what he has worked so hard to achieve,” read part of the statement.
The statement said that the Tsvangirai’s family would not try to influence the ailing leader’s “political decision during his current illness or thereafter”.
A NewsDay report said that Tsvangirai’s illness had plunged the MDC into serious factional fights, with some party members backing Nelson Chamisa, one of his three deputies, while others were throwing their weight behind Mudzuri.
Chamisa’s backers believed he was the shoo-in after Tsvangirai hinted leaving the reins of the party to the younger generation, the report said.
Tsvangirai recently hinted that he would retire from politics, less than two months after the end of his longtime foe president Robert Mugabe’s 37 years’ rule.
Tsvangirai said in a statement that he was “looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task”.