Eleventh-hour efforts by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s estranged lover Locardia Karimatsenga to stop his weekend wedding suffered a heavy blow after the High Court dismissed her urgent application yesterday.
High Court judge Justice Antonia Guvava advised Karimatsenga, who was seeking a court interdict to block Tsvangirai from wedding Elizabeth Macheka, to pursue her matter at the magistrates’ court.
Justice Guvava said the High Court had no jurisdiction over the matter, pointing out Karimatsenga was supposed to file her objections with the marriage officer who issued Tsvangirai with a marriage licence.
“There is no urgency in the matter. There was an alternative remedy and the applicant can file an objection even at this stage,” she said.
“The applicant will not suffer any irreparable damage as she has enough time to file her objections with the marriage officer at the magistrates’ court. That was the remedy available when she got to know that the wedding would go on.” The judge also said she could not rule on whether the wedding must be blocked because Karimatsenga did not give a convincing explanation of how her rights would be infringed.
Tsvangirai’s lawyers Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Innocent Chagonda and Selby Hwacha hailed the ruling.
“It means the Prime Minister’s wedding will now go ahead as planned,” said an ecstatic Chagonda.
But Karimatsenga’s lawyer Everson Samkange said he would immediately file objections in the lower courts. In her application, Karimatsenga claimed she was still customarily married to Tsvangirai and allowing him to wed would deprive her of her conjugal rights as his wife.
She also told the court she was prepared to provide video evidence of their marriage ceremony. However, the court ruled that any customary marriage that was not solemnised was invalid. Guvava also lambasted Karimatsenga for describing Tsvangirai as insane in her application.
The Harare businesswoman was also ordered to pay legal costs for Reverend Levee Kadenge for wrongly citing the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe bishop as one of the respondents in the case.
Justice Guvava said citing Kadenge in his personal capacity was improper and reckless.
Karitsematsenga was further ordered to foot Tsvangirai’s legal costs. Meanwhile, Tsvangirai says he will host two public ceremonies to celebrate the wedding with his supporters. The first party would be held on Saturday at the Glamis Arena in Harare and the second one in Buhera next month to accommodate his followers who would not attend the weekend ceremony.
MDC-T sources yesterday said it was likely that Fackson Shamenda, a strong advocate for workers’ rights in Zambia who once served as president of the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions, would be Tsvangirai’s best man. Several African leaders have been invited to the wedding at the Rain Tree Lodge in Umwinsdale in the capital.