HARARE – Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s wife Elizabeth yesterday insisted that her husband was fit after falling “sick just like any other human being” and was strong enough to resume his duties.
Speaking to the Daily News at the couple’s Harare home yesterday, Elizabeth said her husband was not seriously ill as suggested by the media insisting that the former prime minister has been resting at their Highlands home.
Reports indicated yesterday that Tsvangirai was seriously ill and had been hospitalised.
Officials said Tsvangirai has been paying intermittent visits to doctors for observation.
Tsvangirai on Sunday cancelled his scheduled address at a rally at Zimbabwe Grounds in Highfield after failing to pitch up at a Glen View rally two weeks ago, triggering speculation that the ex-PM is seriously ill.
Press reports suggested he was hospitalised on Tuesday, adding another dimension to the enduring theories that the ex-premier was seriously unwell, reportedly suffering from “mental” and “nervous” breakdown.
But yesterday the couple opened their doors to the media, with Elizabeth, who has of late assumed a low profile, speaking passionately about her husband.
“Ndozvakaita munhu anorwara here izvi? (Is this how a sick person looks like?)” she asked, looking fondly at Tsvangirai, who sat slouched in a sofa at the couple’s Highlands home.“He is very fine and fit.”
The MDC leader, who was basking in the sun when reporters arrived at his home, was asked to change his seat. He walked unaided, chuckling that journalists had blown his health problems out of proportion.
“What is wrong with journalists? Zimbabwean journalists have a problem, munhu anorambidzwa kurwara here? (Is it illegal for a person to fall sick?) It is now thou shall not fall sick,” the MDC leader said, to which his wife chipped in, “Vari right ava (He is fine).”
The couple however declined to take questions from journalists, with Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka, saying his boss was under strict doctors’ instructions not to strain himself, including speaking to the media and addressing rallies.
“President Morgan Tsvangirai is resting at home in compliance with what his doctors ordered, contrary to media reports that he is seriously ill and is detained at a hospital in Harare,” he said.
“On Sunday, his doctors said he was exhausted, a condition the medical experts attributed to overworking. They immediately ordered him to rest, which made him miss the party’s Africa Day rally in Highfield.”
According to Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai was never hospitalised but has been resting at his Highlands home, with visits into the city centre for observation by his doctors.
But sources yesterday said he had been detained in hospital for a day.
The MDC has however, kept a heavy lid on the illness affecting the veteran trade unionist, amid frenzied speculation.
“We see no reason to mislead the nation on president Tsvangirai’s state of health and we have been open about his condition since this last weekend,” Tamborinyoka said.
The spokesman said they have publicly maintained since Sunday that he was recuperating at his Highlands home.
Stocking Tsvangirai’s legendary rivalry with President Robert 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.
“More importantly, unlike other political leaders who fly out to up-market hospitals outside the country for medical treatment, president Tsvangirai has exhibited faith in local medical expertise and health facilities,” Tamborinyoka said.
“Our doctors and other civil servants are working under very difficult circumstances but president Tsvangirai has retained his faith in their ability to discharge of their duties.
“Zimbabweans should not panic. President Tsvangirai is in fine spirits and will be back to work soon to continue with his mission to bring positive change in the lives of the people of Zimbabwe.” Daily News