Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
Photo by: Bloomberg
Zimbabwe's long time opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has reportedly refused to name one of his three deputies as a caretaker party president while he recovers from his recent illness.
Tsvangirai was airlifted to South Africa a weeks ago after he fell ill.
Tsvangirai, 65, announced last year that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the colon and that he had begun chemotherapy.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, Tsvangirai "remained careful not to stir up factional tensions within his party by deciding against naming any of his three deputies to act on his behalf" while he recuperated.
Tsvangira, the report said, announced last week that his three deputies Thokozani Khuphe, Nelson Chamisa and Elias Madzuru would be in charge of the party, but only in their party portfolios.
Khuphe was in charge of administration and women, Chamisa was in charge of policy and international relations and Mudzuri was the head of organising and elections.
This came after reports suggested last week that panic had gripped the Movement for Democratic Change party over Tsvangirai’s illness.
While Tsvangirai's spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka insisted that the opposition leader was well, "party officials stressed that he was in bad shape".
The unnamed officials were quoted as saying that it would be better if the party was truthful over Tsvangirai's health situation "to avoid unnecessary speculations that could hurt the party and cause panic among followers".