Zimbabwe’s main opposition party is denying reports that its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is critically ill.
Reports of his deteriorating condition emerged this morning, with sources within Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) telling people to brace for the worst.
Mr Tsvangirai has been in and out of South African hospitals after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
But the MDC have now said reports about its leader’s health are exaggerated.
A senior member of the party who refused to be identified told the BBC that Mr Tsvangirai is in poor health but that he is conscious and speaking. The party is waiting further updates from Johannesburg.
The reports come at a particularly difficult time for the MDC.
Last year it agreed to form an alliance along with six other opposition parties, in a significant move to try to unseat the ruling Zanu PF party.
With elections now less than five months away it’s not clear whether the alliance will be able to regroup and identify a new leader, if Mr Tsvangirai is not well enough to lead.