Tsvangirai ‘not marrying his wife’s sister’

2010-03-30 12:33

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has dispelled rumours that he has taken a new wife – a young sister of his late wife Susan.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson James Maridadi said that the prime minister simply attended a traditional ceremony at his rural home in Buhera at the weekend to mark the first anniversary of the death of his wife.

According to the Shona custom, which is practised where Tsvangirai comes from and in most parts of Zimbabwe, such ceremonies are held a year after the passing on of an adult. For that year, surviving spouses may not commit to matrimonial relationships.

The ceremony is meant to free the surviving spouse from this cultural bondage and also to thank and celebrate the spouse’s commitment of faith to their departed soulmate.

Usually, according to the Shona custom, the surviving spouse is accorded the privilege of taking another spouse from one of their dead partner’s siblings – it is called kugara nhaka (to inherit).

So, when Tsvangirai left the capital at the weekend with a big entourage of trusted friends including party colleagues and government officials, speculation was rife romance was in the air – even names of the late Susan’s young sisters were flung around.

Some news sites claimed Tsvangirai had set his eyes and had in fact accepted his in-laws’ offer of Leah Mhundwa, his late wife’s youngest sister, as his new wife at the Sunday ceremony.

Maridadi said the ceremony did not go beyond celebrating the anniversary and “setting Tsvangirai free to remarry”.

Susan Tsvangirai died in a road accident on March 6 last year, hardly a month after her husband had assumed office as prime minister in a government led by his nemesis President Robert Mugabe.

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