Cancer treatment not a death sentence, I'm ready for 2018: Tsvangirai

Morgan Tsvangirai (File: AFP)
Morgan Tsvangirai (File: AFP)

Harare - Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his cancer treatment is going well, and he’s fit enough to take on President Robert Mugabe in elections next year.

The comments come after recent rumours circulated on social media that the veteran MDC leader has only months to live.

"I'm feeling fine. I’m responding well. It takes time," Tsvangirai told Studio 7, Voice of America’s Zimbabwe-focused radio programme.

Tsvangirai was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016. Earlier this month he was in South Africa for another round of chemotherapy. His trip there happened to coincide with President Robert Mugabe’s latest trip to Singapore for what officials said was a "routine medical check-up".

"As you know I'm undergoing treatment. It's not a new thing. The only surprising thing is when people blow out of proportion and mistake treatment for a death sentence. It's inhuman to conclude that," Tsvangirai said.

"This misrepresentation is intended to create a certain impression that Tsvangirai is not able to go to the next election because of health reasons. They [political opponents] want to make my health an election issue and unfortunately they will not succeed."

Zimbabwe is due to go for elections next year in July. There has been speculation that Mugabe may try to bring the election forward while he still has the energy to meet the gruelling demands of the campaign trail. 

On Friday Mugabe made reference to his growing frailty when he told youths at a rally that their loyalty made him want to jump for joy, and if he couldn’t do it with his legs he’d do it with his heart

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