Zimbabwe opposition says leader Tsvangirai not stepping down

HARARE, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai (MDC-T) said Tuesday its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is not stepping down, contrary to recent media reports.

This is after Tsvangirai hinted in his New Year message on Monday that he was considering handing over the reins to the younger generation.

"Contrary to recent press reports that suggested that President Tsvangirai will soon be stepping down from the leadership of the party, the fact of the matter is that President Tsvangirai remains the leader of the MDC and he is the MDC Presidential candidate for the 2018 elections," said the party's spokesperson Obert Gutu in a statement.

Gutu said Tsvangirai continued to recover while resting at home and was due to leave for South Africa later on Tuesday for his routine medical check-up.

Tsvangirai, 65, is battling colon cancer and has been in and out of hospital since he revealed his condition in June 2016.

Tsvangirai said on Monday: "I am looking at the imminent prospects of us as the older generation leaving the levers of leadership to allow the younger generation to take forward this huge task that we started together so many years ago with our full blessing and support."

These remarks have fueled speculations that the long-time opposition leader is about to call it quits, with many analysts saying this would be a good move given his failing health.

Gutu said the MDC-T was gearing up for the 2018 polls and would complete the selection of its candidates within the next few weeks.

[ Editor: meng ]


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