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Mugabe Challenger In Critical Condition, Airlifted To South Africa

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been hospitalized in South Africa, according to a senior party official.

Luke Tamborinyoka, spokesman for Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, said Saturday he was admitted “for a routine medical procedure” and is in “very stable condition.”

A senior party source said Tsvangirai, who is considered President Robert Mugabe’s primary challenger in elections scheduled for next year, experienced severe vomiting after a party meeting.

Local media outlets had reported Tsvangirai, a former prime minister, was transported Friday to South Africa in critical condition.

The 65-year-old Tsvangirai announced last year he was being treated for colon cancer. The senior party source said Tsvangirai’s hospitalization was not related to his ongoing cancer treatment.

Tsvangirai shared power with the 93-year-old Mugabe between 2009 and 2013 after losing violent and disputed elections in 2008. The arrangement has resulted in divisions within Tsvangirai’s party.

Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader, has frequently accused Mugabi and his government of manipulating polls during the campaign season. Tsvangirai won nearly 48 percent of the vote in 2008 while Mugabe captured just over 43 percent, which led to a run-off.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off prior to the last round of voting after his supporters were targeted by a series of violent acts.

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