Love tussle tarnishes Morgan Tsvangirai

2012-09-12 15:13

Harare - A legal bid by a former lover of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to stop his wedding on Saturday has laid bare a messy private life and damaged the political reputation of the main rival to long-serving leader Robert Mugabe.

Locardia Karimatsenga, 39, has filed a High Court injunction to block Tsvangirai's wedding to fiancée Elizabeth Macheka, arguing that she was his wife under the former British colony's "customary marriage" law.

The filing, due to be decided on Wednesday, has sparked a frenzy in Harare newspapers, which have plastered their front pages with headlines such as "Tsvangirai wedding war", "Plot against PM intensifies" and "D-Day for PM Wedding".

Having the nuptials blocked would be a major embarrassment for Tsvangirai, who had been expected to invite Mugabe, his partner in a fractious coalition formed after a disputed 2008 election, and some foreign leaders to the ceremony.

While 88-year-old Mugabe has been criticised for turning what was once one of Africa's strongest economies into a basket case, Tsvangirai is now being publicly questioned over his relationships with women and money.

His personal troubles started after the death of his wife, Susan, in a 2009 car crash. They have handed Mugabe political ammunition as he seeks to extend his three-decade rule in an election expected within a year.

Unwanted distraction

Karimatsenga, a tall and sturdily built woman, said by local newspapers to have a taste for luxury, alleged she had suffered a miscarriage while carrying Tsvangirai's child last year and that this had "mentally devastated him".

In June, the 60-year-old also confirmed newspaper reports that he had fathered a love child with a 24-year-old woman in the second city of Bulawayo and that he was looking after them both.

"It is embarrassing, plain and simple," a top official in the MDC told Reuters. "It is an unwanted distraction which we would rather not have."

The High Court has also received another application from Karimatsenga in which she demands $15 000 from Tsvangirai for her monthly upkeep, including $1 700 for "hair and beauty therapy" and $1 200 for telephone bills.

She is also seeking $3 000 for rent, $4 000 for groceries and $1 500 as a clothing allowance - arguing that Tsvangirai has the money.

The sums compare to per capita GDP of $800 a year in Zimbabwe, where government workers earn an average $300 a month. Making matters worse for Tsvangirai is his recent move into a $3m state residence.

Zanu-PF is certain to pounce on Tsvangirai's private life in any election campaign, using it to paint him as an unreliable leader. Politburo member Jonathan Moyo has derided Tsvangirai in newspaper columns for his "open zip and shut mind" politics.

  • larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-12 15:22

    Morgan does not need this to tarnish him. That was done long ago when it was discovered that the man is an indecisive incompetent. He just keeps bungling along.

      niel.phillips.7 - 2012-09-12 15:40

      where did they dig u out from ?- you another Mugabe 'gatkruiper' - your comment is baseless

      napolita.kio - 2012-09-12 15:50

      niel.phillips.7 If larry.piggot's claim(s) are baseless then what is the basis of your repudiation?

      larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-12 16:03

      @Neil. No mate, I am a very disillusioned MDC supporter who is well known to Morgan and his officials. I have just had enough of Morgans stumbling from one stuffup to another.

  • Babalo Mpande - 2012-09-12 15:28

    Come on guys !!!!hahahaha we used to this in south Africa they are crying for nothing

  • tmunengami - 2012-09-12 15:40

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  • tmunengami - 2012-09-12 15:40

    Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

  • don.mug.3 - 2012-09-12 15:42


      larry.piggott1 - 2012-09-12 17:11

      Short on Smart and Small on Heart.

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-09-12 15:46

    I thought stupidity tarnished Tsvangirai not a so called love triangle.( Besides his looks like a love pentagon)

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-09-12 15:52

    'Politburo member Jonathan Moyo has derided Tsvangirai in newspaper columns for his \open zip and shut mind\ politics'\r\nHahahaha These Zanu guys will diss ya.

  • punungwe - 2012-09-12 16:28

    Just a small question - if Tsvangirai practices 'open zip and shut mind politics' and he has got only two women, what does President Zuma practice.

      alastair.grant.98 - 2012-09-12 16:46

      Mshini Wam - bring me my machine gun.

  • lucas.chingonzo - 2012-09-12 16:37

    Tsvangirai useless man,sellout

  • eddie.serane - 2012-09-12 20:38

    Shame on T

  • eddie.serane - 2012-09-12 20:38

    Shame on T

  • hughmupfunya - 2012-09-13 01:37

    is the so called professor not alleged to be gay. a sexual orientation that is illegal in the country . please Mr Moyo try to live some's sexuality and zips alone........lets yu be judged just as you are doing

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