By Chengetayi Zvauya
HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and customary law “wife” Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo have agreed to settle their divorce outside the courts and public scrutiny.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News on Sunday, Manasa Tsvangirai, the younger brother to the PM and the Tsvangirai family spokesperson confirmed he had started the traditional proceedings which they hope will culminate in an out-of-court settlement.
Manasa spoke for the first time on the marriage issue between PM and Locardia, agreeing that he was involved in the matter and paid money to the Karimatsenga family on behalf of Tsvangirai last November, which the magistrate court interpreted as lobola.
Manasa said when they went to the Karimatsengas’ Christon Bank home in November, everything was done above board in terms of paying damages.
“We wanted to legitimise everything and this is why we went to the Karimatsenga home last year. Taida kuchenura Locardia (we wanted to legitimise Locardia).
“The family cannot now claim that I am bothering them or Locardia because they know me from last year since I came to them to pay damage money,” said Manasa.
Manasa confirmed that he had visited Locardia’s auntie, a Mrs Mafaro at her home in Borrowdale last Thursday together with his uncle Innocent Zvaipa as emissaries of the PM to start negotiations.
“We went to Mai Mafaro’s home on Thursday so that we could talk. I understand that the two parties — the PM and Locardia want this matter to be settled out of court and have left the matter in the hands of their lawyers.
“As the Tsvangirai family, we welcome this move as it is good for everyone involved because we were seeing a third force behind all these matters, which was turning out to be political,” said Manasa.
He said when the matter started they did not anticipate “all this publicity”.
“We feel that it is better to resolve this matter outside the courts. When we went to Locardia’s home last week on Tuesday, we were looking for her, wanting to talk to her rather than intimidate or harass her. We were acting on the instructions of our lawyers, that we should try to negotiate with her,” he said.
Tsvangirai is being represented by Innocent Chagonda, and Thabani Mpofu, while Locardia is being represented by Jonathan and Everson Samukange. Tsvangirai and Locardia are locked up in a legal battle with the spurned “wife” claiming maintenance from the PM.
Flanked by her sister, Biata Nyamupinga, Locardia confirmed a peace initiative was underway, adding she was tired of fighting.
“I have always wanted peace with the PM and we want him to come and we can discuss about this matter. My family wants him to come and meet the rather having many people involved . Everyone one of us wants peace, this media war is not necessary,” said Locardia.
“Manasa and Zvaipa are looking for me in town, they came to my home Tuesday and on Thursday they visited my auntie in Borrowdale, they threw some objects into my property and hurled some abuse to people who were present and I do not know why they are doing it.
“They are misbehaving a lot. I am now living in fear of them and it is not the way to divorce a person, when you do that. I have always wanted peace with them from the beginning of this issue, until today,” said Locardia.
Locardia claims she was customarily married to Tsvangirai, and was the senior wife with Elizabeth Macheka being the second wife. She was also comfortable with being in a polygamous marriage. “I am still married to him and he is still my husband,” she said. Daily News