Cape Town – Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is reported to be “seriously ill” in a South African hospital after his “condition deteriorated rapidly” on Monday.
A Reuters report quoted a source from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as saying on Tuesday that the veteran opposition leader was “critically ill”, adding that his supporters should “brace for the worst”.
Tsvangirai, a former prime minister, announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and had begun chemotherapy.
He has been in and out of hospital since disclosing his condition.
He returned to a Johannesburg hospital for his latest round of treatment in early January.
A Daily News report on Tuesday quoted a family source as saying that Tsvangirai was “plagued by exhaustion, weight loss and muscle thinning”.
“He has lost appetite and is facing difficulty eating or swallowing fluids…As of yesterday (Monday), he was said to be breathing slowly, sometimes with very long pauses between breaths”, the report said.
Reports last month said that Tsvangirai’s situation had gone dire, with NewsDay saying that his doctors had indicated he had “three months to live”.
Tsvangirai, however, took to his personal Twitter page – also quoted by the state-owned Chronicle newspaper at the time, and dismissed the reports as “speculation”.
He wrote: “It is all speculation. No deadline has been given to me and my family. I am getting routine attention like any other cancer patient and i will be back in Zim shortly. Meanwhile let’s all register to vote and those who can attend the alliance rallies. Do not mind the madness.”