I paid the bill: Tsvangirai

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MDC Renewal blamed Mr Tsvangirai, who served as prime minister in the coalition government, for its defeat and demanded his resignation.

EMBATTLED MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday rubbished State media reports that he fled a top Harare private hospital through the back door without paying his medical bill.

NJABULO NCUBE
DEPUTY EDITOR

Tsvangirai was discharged from the Trauma Centre on Wednesday morning after his doctors allegedly asked him to take a rest resulting in a media frenzy that the MDC-T leader was ailing and technically broke.

But in a hard-hitting statement yesterday, his spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka accused the State media of dabbling in yellow journalism saying it was peddling falsehoods.

“For the record, president Tsvangirai left hospital around 11am and his bill was paid about an hour later at 12am in line with the agreement reached with hospital authorities. His total bill of $4 358,53 was paid and we take great exception to the reckless journalism that is claiming he has not paid,” Tamborinyoka said.

He added that it was misleading the country to claim Tsvangirai left hospital through the back door saying the MDC-T leader was accompanied out through the VIP exit by hospital staff.

“He was wearing his suit and we therefore take umbrage at the front page picture in The Herald which demeans the former prime minister of the country as if he sneaked from the hospital barefoot and in hospital garb.

“We have a problem with the hospital staff, some of whom apparently connived with the police and some sections of the media to undermine the reputation of Tsvangirai.

“As we have said, Tsvangirai has not flown out of the country, as others do, to seek medical assistance from Singapore. He has retained his faith in local medical expertise and local institutions. For that faith in local institutions, he is repaid by malicious lies and concocted drama, including a police report for a bill that has been paid,” he said.

Tamborinyoka hinted that his boss would likely take legal action for the alleged malicious reports around the issue saying Tsvangirai had spoken to his lawyers.

“We are making public the receipt given by the hospital yesterday (Wednesday) when the bill was paid, reflecting the change of $17,47 they gave us when the bill was settled. There appears to be emerging a grand coalition to attack the Tsvangirai brand at the expense of the real characters who are at the centre of the national crisis; a crisis that includes a severe liquidity crunch, an economy in turmoil and a government that is failing to even pay its own workers. Instead of focusing on key issues, the gutter press has sought to concoct lies around the person of Morgan Tsvangirai.”