Tsvangirai coughs up to end love triangle

2012-11-03 19:32

Zimbabwe Prime Minister ­Morgan Tsvangirai’s attempt to disentangle himself from his ex-lover, Locardia Karimatsenga-Tembo, has turned into an ­eyebrow-raising affair for the 60-year-old Movement for Democratic Change leader.

Recent media reports suggest the PM forked out a six-figure payment to Karimatsenga­Tembo, who had been demanding a monthly maintenance of $15 000 (R131 619).

Conflicting reports of the out-of-court settlement have surfaced, rumoured to be in the range of $280 000 to $300 000. His spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, would not comment on the payment and said it was a private affair.

The government-owned Herald newspaper, citing unnamed sources, said Tsvangirai had actually paid $500 000 to his former lover.

Her lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, one of the country’s most expensive legal minds who charges $1 000 an hour, indicated that his client was “very, very happy” with the deal struck.

It is understood from people privy to the ­details that Tsvangirai’s new wife – Elizabeth, the daughter of Zanu-PF central committee member Joseph Macheka – played a leading role in forcing the PM to make the once-off payment because she was fed up with the public damage from the long-standing saga.

Karimatsenga-Tembo had the couple’s marriage licence successfully revoked at the eleventh hour in September after claiming she was still married to the PM under customary law, which is recognised in Zimbabwe.

Last month, Elizabeth orchestrated a major shake-up in ­Tsvangirai’s office when she ­allegedly told the premier to sack all the people involved in setting up the failed marriage with ­Karimatsenga-Tembo.

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