The New Times (Kigali)

Zimbabwe: Court Dismisses Bid to Stop PM's Wedding

The High Court on Wednesday dismissed an urgent application that sought to stop Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wedding at the weekend.

Tsvangirai's estranged lover Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo had filed an urgent chamber application seeking an interdict to stop the PM's wedding with his fiancee Elizabeth Macheka.

High Court Judge Justice Antonia Guvava, after hearing submissions from the parties' lawyers on Tuesday, ruled on Wednesday that the High Court had no jurisdiction to deal with the urgent matter and that Karimatsenga Tembo should seek recourse from the Magistrates Court that deals with such matters.

"The magistrate or marriage officer is the one that can cancel a marriage certificate or refuse to solemnize a marriage if he/she is satisfied that it is necessary to do so," Justice Guvava said.

"The applicant should therefore write to the marriage officer raising her objections."

Tsvangirai customarily married Karimatsenga-Tembo last year but immediately thereafter went on to publicly deny the marriage, saying he had only paid damages for impregnating her out of wedlock.

Justice Guvava said Karimatsenga Tembo failed to submit to the court significant evidence that showed that she was indeed married to the PM at the time she filed the interdict application. She said in any case an unregistered customary law union was not a legal basis for Karimatsenga-Tembo to file the application. "According to the Constitution recognition of a customary marriage

makes it subject to any other law," Justice Guvava said. She also ruled that Karimatsenga-Tembo should pay legal costs to a bishop with the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe whom she had improperly cited as third respondent.

In filing his opposing papers, the bishop said he had been wrongly cited and would claim costs after hiring expensive lawyers to handle his case. Tsvangirai and Macheka were cited as first and second respondent in the application.

Tsvangirai's lawyer Innocent Chagonda told journalists that Tsvangirai's wedding will go ahead uninterrupted on Saturday.

However, Karimatsenga-Tembo's lawyers said they were going to appeal

against the judgement and also file an objection to the marriage officer who issued Tsvangirai with the marriage license. Sources said Tsvangirai's apparent failure to properly handle his love life since his wife Susan died in a road accident in 2009 has dented his image, as well as his party's.

There are fears that apart from Karimatsenga-Tembo, more women previously associated with Tsvangirai could also come forward seeking to stop the wedding. Sources close to Tsvangirai are alleging that some hidden political hands were behind Karimatsenga-Tembo's bid.

Source: Xinhua 

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