Give full information on leaders' health

HARARE - Information on the health of our leaders should be disseminated with full facts like is done in other progressive states to avoid unnecessary speculation both in the media in public discussions.

We have said this time and again and we maintain the same stance.

No sooner had information come out that opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai  was not feeling well than the media was full of speculation and rumours about the level of his illness. The media will always speculate because they do not have adequate information and it will be folly to blame the media in such instances.

Just like President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai is a major political force in the country and will always be relevant in the country’s political discourse.

For the short moment he came to power between 2009 and 2013, on the back of a platform to do away with corruption and poverty, Tsvangirai oversaw a period of dramatic improvement in the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Yesterday, after much debate and conjecture, Tsvangirai’s spin-doctors clarified that he was suffering from exhaustion. But this is information that should have been disseminated well before his rally on Sunday where a huge crowd waited for him to address them.

Thanking people for the many expressions of solidarity he had received, Tsvangirai stated “I might be home recuperating but my thoughts are with the people of Zimbabwe who continue to brave the long and torturous journey to true freedom and democracy.”

At the Zimbabwe Grounds rally, the thousands who flocked the place wanted to see Tsvangirai deliver his speech but he did not pitch up.

This caused a mass exodus from the venue.

It was a demonstration of the dynamic relationship between Tsvangirai and the masses that has been the motor force driving Zimbabwe’s process of change.

The information vacuum created around Tsvangirai’s health status saw the media quickly coming up with their own conclusions and one can’t blame them because no information was made available.

His spin-doctors have quickly denounced the media reporting of his alleged “terminal illness” as extreme dishonesty and a complete deception.

This is exactly what we have been urging government to do when it comes to Mugabe’s health. Instead of waiting for the foreign media to “ambush” him in Singapore as they did last week, why not get full briefings on the issue?

Admittedly, the new regime at the ministry of Information has commendably tried to dish out information on Mugabe’s medical trips to Singapore but we feel they must give us more information to avoid speculation, some of it which could turn out to be far-fetched.

And this is why we insist that Tsvangirai’s spin-doctors must provide all information that the people need about his condition to stop this speculation.

Comments (3)

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WATER - 27 May 2014

Yes it's important for pple to know abt their leaders's health condition & many other things some may want to say are private. Once a public figure,forget abt your privacy. The nation rightly wanted to know why our president RGM travelled to Singapore recently although Grace was so disgraceful to journalists there. Equally the same,pple have the right to know why MT failed to come to address the several thousands at his rally at the Zimbabwe grounds. Fools prematurely wished deaths for the two important leaders. A huge SHAME on the prophets doom.


If the reports that Tsvangirai was suffering from malaria are true then the spin doctors did us no favor when they lied that he was exhausted. To the man on the street, malaria is what makes a strong willed man lie down in bed during the day and not exhaustion. The spin doctors should not try to emulate those of ZANU by trying to hide such information to the public, we all get sick every now and then.

Dr Know - 28 May 2014

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