The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Of Love and Politics

analysis

The old adage that love knows no boundaries at times is true. Indeed love knows no race, body shape, height and above all political affiliation. Politicians look for love and break hearts too.

In 2012 politicians broke the hearts of many women, foreigners included as some of them failed to contain acquired fame.

The legislators, a few of them who graduated to become ministers in the inclusive Government, scorned many ladies among them young girls.

However, some of these legislators cannot be nailed because their cases were never brought to the public domain.

As usual, society suppressed these innocent young women whose future was ruined and they are suffering silently. The most fascinating case among them all is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's love story.

Surely, who among some single women out there would resist advances by a Premier who promises them heaven on earth and to be the First Lady of the country should he win the elections?

PM Tsvangirai's marriage squabbles had a fair share of the political space last year. Many women fell into his love trap, but were scorned.

However, the lucky one, Elizabeth Macheka, is still smiling and has earned the title of Mrs Tsvangirai.

The PM became uncontrollable when his first wife Susan died in a horrific car accident in March 2009.

In Shona, they say the PM became "mombe yemashanga" following Susan's death.

He hit headlines in local and international media and acres of space were dedicated for his love story. The PM came up with so many theories and accused Zanu-PF of his marriage squabbles and alleged that it was the work of security agents.

Zanu-PF scoffed at the Premier's allegations arguing how a revolutionary party could stoop and be involved in someone's private life, especially love life when they have more serious business to conduct.

The PM was linked to so many local and foreign women until he finally settled on Ms Macheka, daughter to Zanu-PF Central Committee member and former Chitungwiza Mayor.

He settled for a traditional marriage after his other wife Ms Lorcadia Karimatsenga (39) blocked him from having a white wedding under Chapter 5.11 of the Marriage Act.

Ms Karimatsenga argued that she was still married to Prime Minister Tsvangirai and went to court arguing that allowing him to marry under Chapter 5.11 would permanently deprive her of a husband.

The PM married Ms Karimatsenga a city businesswoman specialising in commodity broking on November 19, 2011 and divorced her after 12 days.

Details of the bride price the PM paid to the Karimatsenga's were not officially made available. Lorcadia spent several months in Buhera, the PM's rural home performing some traditional duties of a newly married woman.

She was, however, dumped and the case spilled into courts and was concluded after an out of court settlement. The PM reportedly paid US$300 000 to Ms Karimatsenga and is yet to pay three cattle to conclude the separation procedures.

Tsvangirai was also linked to Ms Loreta Nyathi (22) a Bulawayo based woman he allegedly impregnated.

PM Tsvangirai is reportedly paying US$1 400 monthly maintenance for a baby born out of that relationship to stop the woman from also taking her case to court. The PM was also linked to another Bulawayo woman, Ms Aquilina Pamberi, a widow who was married to the late Jacob Mandeya.

He claimed to have hooked up with the woman during the MDC-T congress in Bulawayo and reportedly spent a night with her at Nesbitt Castle.

Another woman from South Africa, Nosipho Regina Shilubane emerged last year claiming to be engaged to the PM. She claimed that the PM promised to marry her and they have been to so many international destinations together. The woman also claimed the PM bought her a house in an up market South African suburb and he visited her frequently. Her case was, however, dismissed by the courts for lack of merit and the PM proceeded to customarily marry Macheka.

Elizabeth is daughter to senior Zanu-PF official and one wonders what politics they discuss at home and whether Zanu-PF politics does not also crop up during discussions.

It's not yet clear whether new cases of women promised marriage by the PM are not going to emerge in the immediate future.

The former president of Zimbabwe Union of Democracy Mrs Margaret Dongo once made some intriguing remarks on the PM's love life. She said if Tsvangirai was a bull, she would like him in her cattle pen for breeding purposes.

Surprisingly, not even a single local women's organisation commented on the PM's marriages.

Others may argue that this does not constitute abuse of women since all the women involved were consenting adults. This, however, is worrying when it comes to HIV and Aids issues as the PM clearly had multiple concurrent partners if testimonies of the affected women are anything to go by. Surely someone was supposed to say something.

Women belonging to the MDC-T also remained mum and no one questioned why their leader had an insatiable desire for women. Only foreign branches of the MDC-T were affected by PM Tsvangirai's messy sex life as it led to a split of the party's UK and Ireland branch.

A faction led by Ms Suzeet Kwenda called for the Premier to resign. Ms Kwenda who led one of the factions wrote to PM Tsvangirai advising him of her faction's position. The letter was sent to Harvest House in Harare.

Ms Kwenda said Mr Tsvangirai had shown total disrespect for women and the girl child. She was quoted as saying: "On behalf of all Zimbabwean women who are sick and tired of being abused, I am kindly requesting you to do the honourable thing and resign.

"As a leader, your disrespect and attitude towards women leaves a lot to be desired. No excuse is acceptable for the emotional or physical abuse of women and sexual objectification thereof. Leaders should lead by example and be good role models to the younger generation who are going to be the future leaders".

Ms Kwenda said to save his dignity, Mr Tsvangirai should resign as the MDC-T president.

The branch's youth organising secretary, Mr Caston Matewu, acknowledged that Ms Kwenda was a senior member of the party.What a year 2012 was for the Premier and his lovers.

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