The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Still to Conclude Locardia Deal

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is reportedly failing to deliver three oxen to Ms Lorcadia Karimatsenga's family citing an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Buhera.

Lawyers representing Ms Karimatsenga, who is the PM's wife, yesterday said they were concerned with the premier's delay in delivering the beasts in fulfillment of the couple's out-of-court settlement.

Mr Tsvangirai and Ms Karimatsenga got married in November last year under customary law and the relationship turned sour after 12 days when the woman had a miscarriage.

The premier then married Ms Elizabeth Macheka and Ms Karimatsenga filed US$15 000 monthly maintenance claim at the Harare Civil Court.

Ms Karimatsenga later dropped the court case after the couple struck an out-of-court payment deal.

As part of the agreement, PM Tsvangirai was to deliver three oxen to the Karimatsenga family in fulfillment of some cultural requirements.

Mr Jonathan Samukange of Venturas and Samukange law firm last week said the cattle that were due for delivery on December 1 were delayed as the PM was facing difficulties in transporting the cattle from his kraal in Buhera.

Mr Samukange yesterday said PM Tsvangirai's lawyer Mr Innocent Chagonda cited foot and mouth problem while responding to the Karimatsenga family's recent demand for the cattle. "Mr Chagonda responded to my letter of demand saying his client was facing challenges in moving the cattle from Buhera to Christonbank because of the foot and mouth disease.

"He (Mr Chagonda) asked my clients to assist in searching for some cattle nearby so that he will buy and subsequently deliver them to his in-laws," he said. However, Department of Veterinary and Field Services deputy director Dr Chenjerai Njagu yesterday said there was no foot and mouth in Buhera and that there were no challenges in transporting cattle from the area. "So far we have not recorded any foot and mouth problems in the Buhera area and there is free movement of livestock provided one has the relevant documents," he said.

Asked for comment Mr Chagonda said the PM was busy making arrangements to deliver the cattle.

Mr Chagonda refused to comment on the foot and mouth issue, insisting his client would soon deliver the cattle.

"What I can only say is the PM is doing something to ensure delivery of the cattle but I cannot disclose how he is doing it. We are told it is being done," said Mr Chagonda.

PM Tsvangirai paid an undisclosed figure to his wife Ms Karimatsenga as a once-off maintenance settlement and the two further agreed that three oxen should be delivered to the family in fulfillment of some cultural requirements.

He also paid money to Ms Karimatsenga's lawyers Venturas and Samukange law firm as legal fees. Mr Samukange wrote the letter on behalf of the law firm demanding the delivery of the cattle. In October, Mr Samukange requested PM Tsvangirai not to deliver the cattle in the sacred month of November and recently he reminded him to fulfill the agreement.

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