Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai critically ill in South African hospital - party source

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The 65-year-old is critically ill in South Africa, where he has been receiving treatment for colon cancer.

Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai today appointed one of his deputies Nelson Chamisa as the party's acting president during his absence.

What is known about Tsvangirai's condition?

He is now receiving treatment at the Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre (WDGMC) in Johannesburg where doctors are doing their best to fight the cancer, which has reportedly metastasized.

The MDC leader left for South Africa on January 5 for routine check-up.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has hinted that Zimbabweans could go for polls by June. "He has lost appetite, and is facing difficulty eating or swallowing fluids".

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His supporters should "brace for the worst", a source told Reuters news agency. Nelson Chamisa as the acting President of the party by operation of the Constitution until the President's return.

Also, another co-VP, Khupe, is reportedly at loggerheads with Chamisa.

The hospital where Mr Tsvangirai is being treated has so far made no public comments on the issue.

Last November, Mr Tsvangirai hailed the resignation of Robert Mugabe, expressing hopes that Zimbabwe was on a "new trajectory" that would include free and fair elections.

Tsvangirai, 65, has been the MDC's figurehead since the party was founded almost 20 years ago.