HARARE - Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has allayed fears that he may be seriously unwell, with his aides saying yesterday that he was “as fit as a fiddle”.
The aides said the former prime minister in the government of national unity is recharging his batteries at his home in Harare after his doctors ordered him to take a rest at the weekend, due to exhaustion, a development that sparked frenzied speculation about his health after he missed his party’s huge Africa Day rally in the capital.
His spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told the Daily News yesterday that there was no need for anyone to panic over the MDC president’s well-being as he was in excellent health and was merely resting as per his doctors’ recommendation.
“He is fine, although he is still taking the rest ordered by his doctors. The doctors told him that he was overworking and must therefore rest,” Tamborinyoka said.
In his own Facebook post on Sunday Tsvangirai said: “I failed to attend the MDC Africa Day celebrations at Zimbabwe Grounds today but I hear it was a blast. Because of illness, the doctor ordered me to take a rest.
“Those who attended tell me there was a huge crowd there and it is unfortunate that I failed to address the people. I can’t wait to see the pictures from the rally and share them with you.
“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”.
Although part of the speculation at the weekend was that the former trade union leader was suffering from malaria, Tamborinyoka dismissed this claim as entirely without foundation.
“There is no need for the nation to panic because he is alright. He will be back on his feet soon,” he said.
Tsvangirai, who controversially lost last year’s general elections to President Robert Mugabe, has lately had to contend with some of his party underlings such as expelled secretary general Tendai Biti and former deputy treasurer general Elton Mangoma pushing for his ouster.
This has seen the popular opposition leader embarking on an extensive tour of the country to address rallies meant to galvanise his grassroots support.
“I cannot give a firm date as to when he will be back, because it is up to the doctors, but it might take a few weeks before he is back,” Tamborinyoka said.
Stocking Tsvangirai’s legendary rivalry with Mugabe, who has been receiving frequent treatment in a top-notch Singapore medical facility, Tsvangirai’s spokesman said the former PM preferred to be treated locally.
“Unlike others (a clear reference to Mugabe) who have gone to Singapore for treatment, he (Tsvangirai) has been receiving treatment locally, using our own health institutions,” Tamborinyoka said.