Zimbabwe’s main opposition MDC-T is insisting its leader Morgan Tsvangirai will be fit and ready to run the rigorous elections race in 2018 despite being blighted by ill health and growing calls from senior party members and family for him to step down.
MDC-T Party spokesperson Obert Gutu dismissed statements made by Eddie Cross on his blog, which he passed off as sentiments from the family.
Gutu said Cross had no authority to speak on behalf of Tsvangirai, his family or the party and the opinions expressed he expressed were purely personal.
“President Tsvangirai is doing very well and we want to thank God for the wonderful work that He continues to do in healing, you know doctors treat and God heals,” he said.
“We are happy he is on the rebound and that he will be back very soon. I am not even going to dignify the comments of the senior official because he was writing in his personal capacity.
“As you know, he has no mandate to speak on behalf of the president’s family, he is not the presidential spokesperson and whatever he wrote, I believe it is entirely his personal opinion and I speak on behalf of the party and what I am telling you is the official party position.”
Gutu said Cross would soon face censure following his comments about Tsvangirai’s health, which had the effect of undermining confidence in the former trade unionist’s leadership.
The MDC-T refused to have parallels drawn between President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai, saying the two were on different sides of the world.
“President Tsvangirai is only 62 years old. We are all human and at one time or another, we get sick, but it does not mean we get sick forever. Mugabe turns 100 in the next six years and you can’t compare the two,” Gutu said.
MDC-T secretary for elections Murisi Zwizwai said his boss was on a health rebound and was the best foot forward for Zimbabwe and would restore the economy.
“When you are sick, you will be healed, but when you are old, you can’t be young again. These are the fundamental differences and surely we cannot be seen to equate these,” he said.
Tsvangirai is expected back in the country by weekend and his first public appearance will be on Monday, when he gets to register as a voter.