Zimbabwe opposition chief Tsvangirai airlifted to hospital

HARARE, ZIMBABWE (REUTERS) – Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai suffered severe vomiting after a party meeting and was airlifted to a Johannesburg hospital, a senior party source said on Saturday (September 16).

Tsvangirai – who is due to challenge President Robert Mugabe in elections next year – was stable, the source said, dismissing reports in the media that he was dangerously sick.

The 65-year-old’s symptoms came on suddenly at a meeting of his opposition coalition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), on Thursday (September 14) evening in Kadoma, a city around 160 km (100 miles) southwest of the capital Harare, the source said.

Two other Zimbabwean political sources confirmed the details of his sudden illness and airlift on Friday (September 15) to South Africa. But the MDC said in an official statement that Tsvangirai was in South Africa for a routine medical procedure.

Tsvangirai said last year that he was being treated for colon cancer. The party source said on Saturday the sudden illness was not related to that condition.