Opposition leader of the movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) Morgan Tsvangirai gestures during a press conference on February 5 2016 in Harare. Last month the WFP said 14 million people across southern Africa faced going hungry due to the prolonged drought, with the cost of maize -- the regional staple -- in Malawi 73 percent higher than average. "People have no money in their pockets -- a situation exacerbated by food shortages," Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) told a news conference in Harare. / AFP / JEKESAI NJIKIZANA (Photo credit should read JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Zimbabwe’s top opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is ill and in a South African hospital. Local media quoted family sources as saying the 65-year-old former prime minister – who is being treated for colon cancer; is suffering from weight loss, exhaustion and muscle thinning.

During the days of his political struggle against ex-President Robert Mugabe, he was beaten and imprisoned numerous times. Mr Tsvangirai heads Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party.

He has been in and out of the hospital since June 2017, receiving treatment in a Johannesburg hospital for cancer. He returned to the hospital early last month but Tsvangirai’s health deteriorated rapidly on Monday.


He had lost appetite and had issue consumption or swallowing fluids. Tsvangirai additionally reportedly had respiratory issues.