Tsvangirai, Mugabe health a big concern

HARARE - Former Prime Minister and MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai is a giant of Zimbabwe’s politics and his reported deteriorating health, which prompted him being airlifted to South Africa for emergency treatment, is not good news for most Zimbabweans.

The news is so depressing as it comes at a time his family, friends and supporters within the MDC, had thought he had put behind the troubles brought about by his medical condition.

Tsvangirai announced last year that he was diagnosed with cancer of the colon.

It is never easy dealing with this type of condition but the dogged former labour union leader had in the last couple of months appeared fit again — to the extent of putting in motion the process to form a grand coalition with other opposition parties — until last Friday when his condition was reported to have deteriorated.

Tsvangirai’s sudden illness brings back into sharp focus the subject of political succession; be it in his party or Zanu PF.

Already, the depressing news of his reported deteriorating health has sent social media into a meltdown — with the majority of conversations ruing why Zimbabwe appears to be a destination for bad news — considering that both Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe are plagued by ill health.

And these popular politicians are touted as presidential candidates in next year’s elections.

Sadly, if anything were to happen to these two politicians, their political formations would be thrown into turmoil because of the absence of a clear-cut succession plan.

Tsvangirai has three deputies — Nelson Chamisa, Elias Mudzuri and Thokozani Khupe — who are all not sure of who will likely succeed Tsvangirai if his medical condition was to force him to leave his coveted position.

At first when Tsvangirai added Chamisa and Mudzuri, the speculation was that it could have been an indication that he was preparing to address the MDC succession politics because these two appointments had been made weeks after he had publicly stated his medical condition.

But as things stand, the politics of MDC succession is as convoluted as Zanu PF’s where Mugabe has dithered on his preferred successor.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe are mortal but appear not to view their succession plans as important both to their parties and Zimbabwe at large.

Sadly, they don’t control time and time is not their best friend right now.

This is why lots of questions are being asked about what tomorrow holds for Zimbabwe.

Comments (1)

I thought a democratic party elects its leader democratically, or has MDC become a royal house like ZANU(PF) and other antiquated African political outfits?

M. Farjj - 24 October 2017

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