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Keith T Mambo
Keith T Mambohttps://www.zimetro.co.zw/
Keith T. Mambo is currently a reporter for ZiMetro News . He focuses on identity politics for The Southern Eye. He was previously a fellow at the UCT University of Cape Town for Political Science.

TSVANGIRAI CONDITION CRITICAL | Former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai remains in critical, but stable condition at South Africa’s Wits Gordon Hospital, but at home the scramble for his position continues amid indications the MDC-T could be forced into an emergence congress before elections next year.


While party supporters and other senior officials were lobbying deputy president Nelson Chamisa to take over, his rivals have indicated the youthful former Cabinet minister was way down the pecking order.

“He (Tsvangirai) is in bad shape. It’s a trying time for the party. Constitutionally, Thokozani Khupe is the acting president, by virtue of her election at congress and that she has served in that position for over 11 years,” a senior party leader, who declined to be named said.

By yesterday, however, insiders said Tsvangirai had improved.

“There has been a marked improvement although the situation remains serious,” NewsDay heard.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka in a statement said the MDC-T leader had laughed off reports that his health had taken a nose-dive.

“President Tsvangirai is responding well to a routine medical procedure in South Africa and has laughed off gruesome Press reports about his condition.

President Tsvangirai said there is no need for national alarm about his condition, adding that several prophets of doom were keen on creating despondency and pouring cold water on the emerging convergence in the country on which Zimbabweans have pinned their hope,” Tamborinyoka said.

Asked by NewsDay who the party’s acting leader was, Tamborinyoka was evasive.

“Everyone is performing their mandate as assigned. The deputy presidents, secretary-general and other officials know their duties and they are dutifully performing them,” he said.

Khupe is currently at loggerheads with Tsvangirai over proposals for a coalition of opposition forces. The former Deputy Prime Minister was opposed to Tsvangirai’s move to bring back his former lieutenants, MDC leader Welshman Ncube and PDP leader Tendai Biti, closer to him on the MDC Alliance table.

But party spokesperson Obert Gutu declared “there is no vacancy in the presidency”.

“It’s tomfoolery for anyone to think about succession in the MDC. President Tsvangirai is fit, able and capable to execute his mandate. He will be our candidate in the election next year. We are not even thinking about anything beyond that. We have no space to discuss succession. Let those who want to dream remain locked up in their nightmare,” Gutu said yesterday.

Khupe was not available for comment, but has been avoiding the MDC-T headquarters Harvest House in Harare since she was bashed by suspected rogue party youths at the provincial party offices in Bulawayo last month.

Chamisa reportedly stood in for Tsvangirai in crunch meetings with MDC Alliance partners held in Kadoma after the MDC-T leader fell ill and had to be airlifted to South Africa last week.

Another MDC-T deputy president, Elias Mudzuri, remains a dark horse.

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