Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai wedding war
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s estranged lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo yesterday filed an urgent application at the High Court seeking an interdict to stop the Premier’s September 15 wedding.
But soon after Karimatsenga’s lawyer Tawanda Kanengoni of Munangati and Associates filed the application, Tsvangirai’s lawyer Innocent Chagonda gave notice to oppose the application, arguing it had no basis.
In the application filed yesterday, Karimatsenga cited Tsvangirai, his wife Elizabeth Macheka, Methodist Church in Zimbabwe Bishop Levee Kadenge and Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede as respondents.
The move could see Tsvangirai and Karimatsenga engaging in an ugly public spat.
Chagonda said the urgent court application was mere abuse of the court process meant to damage the MDC-T leader’s reputation. Karimatsenga said she was acting on the advice of her lawyer Jonathan Samukange and referred to Tsvangirai as “my husband”.
But Chigonda retorted: “Yes, they have filed (the papers), but definitely we are going to do something. Definitely we will oppose it. There is absolutely no basis for the application and we are confident the court will make such pronouncement. I am sure Locardia and Samukange know that and that’s what they expect the court to say. She is only trying to abuse the court process to damage our client’s image for political reasons, no other purpose.”
Samukange said his client would suffer irreparable prejudice if Tsvangirai’s wedding to Macheka went ahead.
“The Applicant is entitled to protect her interests and rights as 1st Respondent’s wife,” read part of the application.
Karimatsenga’s lawyers argued that the matter was of national and international interest and needed to be resolved by the court on an urgent basis.
“My husband (Tsvangirai) believes that I suffer from mental and psychological problems after the miscarriage as the issue of the child had created a bond,” Karimatsenga said.
She then accused Tsvangirai of having his own mental issues, saying: “Despite all I have said above, I love him very much and I would want to remain married to him. I believe that his psychological problems can be resolved by him seeking counselling from qualified psychologists or mental specialists.
“I have known him for a long time as we had been dating for some time before he married me. He is a good man and if he seeks psychological and psychiatric assistance, he can return to his old condition of being a caring and loving husband.”
A day before filing Karimatsenga’s papers, Samukange said: “Now that Tsvangirai is about to get into a white wedding with another woman, it automatically invalidates his marriage to (Ms) Karimatsenga. My client cannot claim conjugal rights to her husband once the white wedding is allowed. If she tries to do so, that will be viewed as adultery. Tsvangirai paid lobola (bride price) for my client and he is her husband.”
Samukange also referred to Karimatsenga as the Premier’s first wife following the death of his first wife Susan in 2009 in a road accident.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka on Thursday said Karimatsenga was merely trying to block the wedding set for next Saturday by claiming that she was still customarily married to the Premier.
He said Tsvangirai would not be stopped from having his “big day” by anyone, alleging that there was a plot by State security agents funded to the tune of $100 million to “cause damage to the person of Tsvangirai”.
Several African leaders were expected to attend the Premier’s wedding.
Meanwhile, Tsvangirai is today expected to launch the “Vote Yes” campaign in support of the Copac draft constitution at the Exhibition Park in Harare.