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Tsvangirai ‘cannot divorce intention to marry’

A prominent political commentator has criticised newspaper and website headlines implying that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ‘divorced’ Harare businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo after only 12 days of marriage.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai attends session at WEF in Davos
On Wednesday Tsvangirai issued a statement saying his ‘relationship’ with Tembo “has been irretrievably damaged to a point where marriage is now inconceivable.”

Pedzisai Ruhanya, a former Daily News journalist questioned the headlines saying “can someone divorce an intention to marry? Where is the issue of divorce in the MT saga coming in? Educate me. Is the statement saying there was marriage?”

On Wednesday Tsvangirai issued a statement (read it here) saying his ‘relationship’ with Tembo “has been irretrievably damaged to a point where marriage is now inconceivable.” Throughout his statement Tsvangirai used the word ‘marriage’ in quotes, implying that it was never a completed process.

Tsvangirai said his ‘intention’ was to ‘rebuild’ his family and ‘start a new lease of life’ following the tragic passing of his late wife Susan in March 2009, but the exercise had been hijacked by an “active political hand that is now driving the processes.”

“State security agents have also weighed in to force and direct proceedings which has resulted in everything regarding this relationship now taking place in camera, with the public media journalists in tow,” he said.

Tsvangirai said he had 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.”

The PM admitted sending a delegation to the Karimatsenga home to perform traditional and cultural rites to ‘formalize this relationship’. Although his original ‘intention’ was to make the relationship work several things have happened to undermine his ‘confidence’ since the traditional ceremony.

Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo in Buhera without Tsvangirai's knowledge
Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo in Buhera without Tsvangirai's knowledge

Tsvangirai said “The cultural rites that took place received wide, well arranged publicity clearly giving rise to a legitimate enquiry on the motive of this publicity, including the choreographed media capture of Ms Karimatsenga while she was supposedly in Buhera.

“While I accept that as Prime Minister I live a public life, I believe I reserve the right to define my relationship,” he said.

The PM also said “I also realized 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.”

Tsvangirai said he would not “expose the people’s struggle for democratic change to machinations of infiltration by those that have oppressed the people of Zimbabwe for the past 30 years. 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.”

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