Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Wednesday announced he was walking out on his customary marriage to Lorcadia Karimatsenga Tembo after just 12 days.
Tsvangirai blamed the MEDIA and STATE SECURITY AGENTS for terminating his marriage to Tembo, who is pregnant with TWINS.
“My genuine intention has been betrayed and hearts have had to search long and hard to the true meaning of this well-choreographed drama that has now been hijacked to cause political damage on my person and character,” Tsvangirai said in a statement.
He said he had “followed the traditional and cultural route” of informing the Karimatsenga family of his decision to pull out of the marriage, adding: “This relationship has been irretrievably damaged to a point where marriage is now inconceivable.”
Despite earlier denials, Tsvangirai, 59, admitted sending a delegation to Karimatsenga’s home on Friday, November 18, to “formalise” his relationship with the 39-year-old.
Within hours, news leaked that he had paid bride price for the wealthy commodity trader and mum-of-one, sparking a media scrum which saw reporters door-step his new wife at his mother’s rural home in Buhera last Sunday.
Tsvangirai now blames the obsessive media coverage, particularly by the state-run Herald newspaper, as one of the reasons he is unable to go through with his marriage.
“I was well-meaning and had good intentions to rebuild my family and start a new lease of life following the tragic passing on of my wife Susan on March 6, 2009,” continued his statement.
“But since the day I sent a delegation to the Karimatsenga family, everything has been played in the press and I have become an innocent bystander in what is supposed to be my relationship.
“I have become a spectator in this relationship and things are happening too fast, on camera and without my knowledge. This has led me to conclude that there is a greater and thicker plot around this issue which has undermined my confidence in this relationship.”
Sources say Tsvangirai’s marriage became a battleground between rival factions in his MDC-T party, pitting his close aides disparagingly referred to as the “kitchen cabinet” and elected officials who felt Karimatsenga was “too close” to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and could compromise him.
Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone, whose husband, Ian, is Tsvangirai’s Chief of Staff, attended the lobola ceremony in Mazowe as a close friend of both the Prime Minister and Karimatsenga. But she has become the target of vicious briefings in the party, with many accusing her of stampeding Tsvangirai into a marriage he was not ready for.
But Makone’s camp has come out fighting, insisting that Tsvangirai was fully aware that Karimatsenga’s sister, Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga, is a Zanu PF MP for Goromonzi West and her husband a diplomat posted in Australia with close links to Mugabe.
Not only that, Makone’s camp says, but Tsvangirai went impregnated Karimatsenga in the full knowledge of those facts. “If anything, this says more about Tsvangirai’s judgement than it bolsters the baseless claims that a 59-year-old man is being manipulated,” said a friend of the minister.
Tsvangirai appeared to point a finger at Makone in his statement, stating: “I also realised that sometimes when you are searching for a partner, especially after losing your wife, there are many stakeholders in the process some of whom have their own ulterior intentions.”
Political commentators and some in his MDC-T party said Tsvangirai mishandled his marriage, and was naive to think he could pay lobola in secret.
Tsvangirai admitted that “with the benefit of hindsight, I could have done things differently”, adding: “In this regard, I apologise to every single Zimbabwean for any discomfort caused by any of my actions.”
Even as he was intensely involved with Karimatsenga, Tsvangirai was said to be seeing a string of women. He told friends in recent weeks his heart was set on marrying Elizabeth Macheka-Guma – a Harare businesswoman – before being panicked into marrying Karimatsenga after she fell pregnant.
Tsvangirai has six children with his late wife, and is believed to have fathered a boy named Ethan with a 23-year-old Bulawayo woman in March.
His statement said: “When the time comes, and when the right person fit to be a reliable partner and mother of my children is found, I will advise the nation accordingly.”
Tsvangirai will be hoping his statement draws a line under what he called a “sordid saga”, but Karimatsenga was as of Wednesday still at his rural home in Buhera where she was received by the Prime Minister’s mother, Mbuya Lydia Tsvangirai, last Saturday night.
She would now be under pressure to present her side of the story after Tsvangirai effectively suggested she was a Zanu PF trojan horse.
Many Zimbabweans refuse to marry in November, believing it would bring bad luck.
Source: New Zimbabwe