MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai was rushed to South Africa yesterday to seek medical attention days after the former trade unionist said he was fit to mount his election campaign ahead of a crucial 2018 vote.

The veteran politician – who has been picked to represent Zimbabwe’s opposition alliance in the presidential election expected early next year, his fourth time as a presidential candidate – was reportedly rushed to the Harare International Airport in an ambulance, before boarding a private plane to neighbouring South Africa.

Tsvangirai’s deputy, Nelson Chamisa, reportedly stood in for Tsvangirai during an MDC Alliance meeting in Kadoma yesterday.

Reached for comment, Chamisa referred questions to Tamborinyoka.

A Political Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed by Tsvangirai along with six other parties – which makes no secret of the MDC’s dominance in the whole arrangement – there is a clause that seemingly looks beyond the increasingly frail opposition leader.

According to the PCA – which is the basis of the MDC Alliance – no-one outside the Tsvangirai-led MDC can take over from him in the event that he dies or gets incapacitated before next year’s polls.

Crucially, the deal secures the MDC’s leadership of the MDC Alliance in the event that a vacancy occurs at the top before or after the elections.

“In the event of a vacancy occurring for the presidency for whatever reasons before the election, then the alliance partners shall select another candidate and if such vacancy occurs after election then the provisions of the national constitution shall apply,” reads part of the PCA.

Tsvangirai recently opened up on his health to the Daily News.

“You know my hair just went out the other day. But I had stayed with my hair for almost eight (chemotherapy) sessions.

“I’m still under treatment. And as you can see, I am responding well to treatment,” he told the Daily News.