Former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was diagnosed with cancer of the colon in April last year, told Voice of America’s Studio 7 that rumours that he would die soon were ‘fake news peddled by his rivals ahead of next year’s elections.
Rumours about the MDC-T leader’s health have been circulating on online publications and social media, including WhatsApp.
Small and Medium Enterprise minister Sithembiso Nyoni yesterday latched onto the rumour, telling Zanu-PF supporters in Mutare that he once travelled to South Africa with “the ailing leader.”
“I want to gossip, but don’t tell people what l will say,” Nyoni said.
“This happened recently when l boarded a plane going to South Africa. l met an old man struggling to walk with a stick we gave him, he was struggling to board the plane.”
He also had the wife we gave to him, l just looked and said who is this ailing man.
“The man was saying he does not have money to be treated but he was given the money by this party [Zanu-PF]. You see, President Robert Mugabe has got a heart, he always wants to help.”
Tsvangirai is married to Elizabeth Macheka, daughter of a Zanu-PF member Joseph Macheka, and has been frequenting South Africa for treatment.
Last year, Mugabe reportedly helped Tsvangirai to get money from government to pay his medical bills. Mugabe himself has been frequenting Singapore for treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
He has travelled to the Asian city state at least three times this year, with his last trip having taken place over a week ago.
Mugabe was forced to cancel two public engagements during the week he was receiving treatment in Singapore, which included a rally organised by Zanu-PF that eventually took place in Lupane last Friday.