12 January 2018

Zimbabwe - Tsvangirai's Ill-Health Forces Debate On Succession Into the Open

analysis

The ailing opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's new year message has opened up a succession debate that is usually taboo. By SALLY NYAKANYANGA.

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, 65, this week indicated his intention to leave active politics, citing the need to pass the baton to a younger leader within the country's most popular opposition.

The ex-Prime Minister, who is battling colon cancer, hinted in his New Year message that he was contemplating leaving his job which has taken him through a protracted struggle for democracy under ousted long serving President Robert Mugabe, to whom he lost in three successive polls.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) leader, who disclosed his health status in June 2016, has been frequenting a South African hospital, where he is getting his cancer treatment. His deteriorating health has left the party divided.

Last year, a senior party member and Member of Parliament for Bulawayo South Eddie Cross was summoned for posting on his blog that Tsvangirai's ill health will not enable him to stand the rigorous election campaigns.

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