Divisions in MDC-T have resulted in Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s family electing to issue statements regarded his health through acting President Engineer Elias Mudzuri, and not through his spokesperson, Mr Luke Tamborinyoka. Mr Tsvangirai has been in and out of the country for treatment for colon cancer. The opposition leader on Monday threw his party into turmoil after he hinted that he could retire from active politics.
Mr Tsvangirai’s statement revived factional fights from lieutenants angling to succeed him, with his deputies Dr Thokozani Khupe and Mr Nelson Chamisa leading rival camps. Divisions in the party became apparent after Mr Tamborinyoka and party publicist Mr Obert Gutu attacked each other on social media as they issued conflicting statements regarding Mr Tsvangirai.
After Mr Tsvangirai hinted on retiring from politics, Mr Gutu insisted he was still the party’s presidential candidate for 2018 elections. On Wednesday, Mr Tamborinyoka through a social media post, shot down Mr Gutu’s, saying it was illegal for other party members to issue statements on behalf of Mr Tsvangirai.
In a joint statement yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai’s family spokespersons Mr Collins Tsvangirai and Manasa Tsvangirai said from now on, Eng Mudzuri will be commenting on matters regarding his health until he recovers. The family said the party’s acting president will issue statements henceforth to curb misinformation and confusion. “We appreciate the arrangement that the party has made to ensure that he gets as much time as possible for rest and recuperation,” reads the statement.
“During this period we shall provide the party and the public with updates on the progress he is making but only through the MDC-T acting president to avoid misunderstandings, until he is back to full health and rejoins his colleagues in completing what he has worked hard to achieve.” The Tsvangirai’s family also said it would not influence the opposition leader on steps to take regarding his political future.