Tsvangirai pays US$36 000 lobola for new wife
The state owned Herald newspaper fiercely loyal to Zanu PF is claiming that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday paid US$36 000 lobola for his new wife Ms Locadia Tembo at a traditional ceremony witnessed by over 200 people.
According to the paper the 59 year old Tsvangirai “had been linked to several women, but finally settled for the 39-year-old Harare businesswoman for whom he paid the lobola at her father’s plot in Christon Bank.”
“PM Tsvangirai paid 10 cattle for Ms Tembo that were delivered to the in-laws as part of the package yesterday. He was also charged five cattle at US$400 per beast,” the paper claimed. Tsvangirai’s wife Susan died in a highly suspicious car accident in March 2009 with accusations he was the actual target.
Locadia Tembo is a wealthy commodity broker and sister to Zanu-PF legislator for Goromonzi Ms Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga.
PM Tsvangirai’s spokesman Mr Luke Tamborinyoka however repeatedly denied that such a ceremony took place.
“If you can believe that my brother, it is the same as believing that former South African President Nelson Mandela is now 12-years-old,” he said. The Herald is however claiming that a visit to the Tembo residence in Christon Bank established that the PM had indeed paid lobola.
“Ms Tembo’s relatives were gathered by late evening and confirmed that Mr Tsvangirai had brought some of his relatives for the ceremony. Ms Tembo’s aunt, Ms Felistas Tsine, said her cousin finally sealed the marriage deal with the PM. She said a wedding was in the offing, although dates were yet to be decided. Sources said the wedding bells could be as early as next month.”
Ms Tsine said the Tembo family was excited to have the PM as a son-in-law. “Tapinda, tapinda,” she said. “Imagine if you were in my position. How would you feel? Who would not want to have a Prime Minister as a son-in-law? “There are many senators and MPs, but there is only one Prime Minister. We consider ourselves very lucky and we are happy for the two.”
Ms Tsine said the ceremony went on well, with the PM behaving as a “cultured son-in-law”.
“Abvisa bhutsu akagwesha kubva panze kusvika mumba muno kuti timuone semukwasha wemusha wedu,” she said. Murume anga akagadzirira iyeye. Grocery raauya naro raita serichakona kukwana mumba muno.”
Ms Josephine Nyakudya, who stood in for the mother, said they felt honoured by the event. “A lot of things have been written about this relationship, but we have proved people wrong,” she said.
“Today we have witnessed the actual thing and we are very impressed.” PM Tsvangirai was accompanied by his young brother Manasa and his uncle Mr Innocent Zvaipa, who acted as the go-between. Mr Zvaipa last night refused to comment on the proceedings.
Ms Tembo was born in 1972 at Chinotimba Hospital in Victoria Falls when her father worked for a transport company in the resort town. She attended Queen Elizabeth High School in Harare before enrolling at Speciss College for a Diploma in Business Management. Ms Tembo is a commodity broker who supplies goods to several chain stores in Harare and South Africa.
She is the fifth born in a family of six, four girls and two boys and has one child, a 16-year old boy, from a previous marriage. Ms Tembo last year appeared in public accompanying PM Tsvangirai at Joyce Meyer’s Festival of Life Conference in Harare. They were together with the PM’s two children Vimbai and Edwin and his chief secretary, Mr Ian Makone.
Sources said Tsvangirai and Locadia first met in South Africa at the Oliver Tambo International Airport last year. Only last month Nehanda Radio.com exclusively revealed that Tsvangirai wass set to get married in December. Highly placed sources told us that wedding plans are at an advanced stage.
This year in June Tsvangirai confirmed he was dating a lady whom he had fallen head over heels for. “I don’t want to go into those personal things like this but let me assure you that people make the mistake to think that the Prime Minister has no right to date someone. I have a right to date and there is a difference between dating and marrying.”
“To marry is a serious commitment. You don’t marry somebody you have known for a day and say you are getting married,” said a smiling Tsvangirai with a glint in his eyes.
“You have a right to date and I also have a right to date. Nobody has a right to say the prime minister should or should not date. So yes at the moment, I am dating and I am very happy, although we have not made a decision yet with regards to marriage plans.”
Tsvangirai, who was flanked by the chief secretary in his office Ian Makone and press officer Conrad Mwanawashe during an interview with a local paper, said although there were a lot of things happening politically and in his personal life, he would not want those things to influence his choice of a wife.
“There are so many complications in my life. I have grown up kids. I have this responsibility as prime minister and I have got my politics to pursue. I don’t want these things to interfere with my choices,” a relaxed Tsvangirai said, sipping a glass of white wine.
Political commentator Pedzisai Ruhanya, writing on the matter early this year, said it was time that the Prime Minister settled down.
“History has shown that the wives of political players are sources of stability or instability to their husbands. My argument is that if Tsvangirai fails to handle his romantic life properly as he seeks a new wife, he could be in the same situation Mugabe got into when the late Sally Mugabe passed away in 1992,” Ruhanya said.
“There is a general belief among Zimbabweans that Sally was a compassionate scandal-free lady, and she assisted Mugabe compared to his current wife, Grace,” he added.