Tale of Morgan Tsvangirai’s tempestuous love affairs

2014-07-13 15:00

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Zimbabwean politician Morgan Tsvangirai has begged his supporters to forgive him for his very public and frequently disastrous romantic ­escapades.

The country’s former prime minister, who is fighting for his political life, took the unusual step of releasing a written statement this week to explain to supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change?–?Tsvangirai (MDC-T) party that things had not been “easy going” since his wife, Susan, was killed in a car crash in 2009.

“That fateful day will not leave me. But despite sad experiences, life continues. As you all know, due to extensive publicity in the media with ­respect to my relationships with women, an ­attempt has been made to portray my perceived errors to be the sum total of who I am,” said the MDC-T leader.

“It is possible after such a loss for one to be on an emotional roller coaster. This becomes more acute as one grapples with the adjustment to a life without a partner who anchored you socially, at the same time laden with the burden of national responsibility to address an intricate national crisis.”

The statement was released a few days after a young woman, Loreta Nyathi, launched a scathing verbal attack on Tsvangirai saying that he had refused to get a birth certificate for their three-year-old son.

Nyathi says she will sue him for child support.

Speaking to Zimbabwe’s Sunday Mail, Tsvangirai, acknowledged ­paternity and said he would resolve the issue with Nyathi.

The 62-year-old’s “roller coaster” has seen Tsvangirai dominate tabloid headlines.

In 2012, he paid a R360?000 lobola for a Harare woman, Locadia ­Karimatsenga, before abruptly announcing that he was ­marrying Elizabeth Macheka instead.

Karimatsenga, who said the lobola meant she and Tsvangirai were customarily married, sued him and the matter was settled out of court.

As that lawsuit swirled, another woman?– ­South African Nosipho Shilubane?–?emerged from the shadows and launched her own court battle to halt ­Tsvangirai’s planned marriage.

Shilubane has since written a book about her relationship with Tsvangirai, which started in late 2009.

This is not the first time Tsvangirai has spoken out about his torrid private life?–?late last year he poured out his heart to the state-run Herald newspaper, saying Macheka no longer shared his bed. In response, his wife said her husband had a “bedroom problem”.

His public affairs led Zanu-PF’s Information Minister Jonathan Moyo to accuse ­Tsvangirai of having an “open zip, shut mind” attitude.

Senior party members have also had enough.

Former finance minister Tendai Biti and Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, once a close ­Tsvangirai ally, are the leading members of a ­faction in the MDC-T that is pushing for Tsvangirai to step down as the party’s leader.

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