Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday disclosed that he has cancer of the colon but vowed to beat it.
The 64-year-old, who served as prime minister from 2009 to 2013, said the diagnosis was made last month at a hospital in South Africa.
“This health condition is unfortunate but can be faced by anyone. I intend to confront this development with the determination to overcome it,” he said.
He said he had began chemotherapy.
“It is my firm belief that the health of national leaders, including politicians, should not be a subject of national speculation,” he added.
President Robert Mugabe, 92, regularly flies to Singapore, reportedly for medical reasons, but most details about his health have never been confirmed.
Tsvangirai’s MDC party has been riven by divisions since his troubled four-year power-sharing deal with bitter rival Mugabe after violent and disputed elections in 2008.
The former trade union leader has often accused Mugabe and his government of rigging polls.
In 2008 Tsvangirai won 47.9 percent of the vote to Mugabe’s 43.2 percent, which led to a run-off.
But Tsvangirai pulled out before the final round of voting after a spate of violence against his supporters.