The Herald (Harare)

1 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Elizabeth Walks Out On Tsvangirai

Photo: Daily News
MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, places an engagement ring on the finger of Elizabeth Macheka (file photo).

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai's marriage to Ms Elizabeth Macheka has essentially collapsed and the two have been living separately for close to a month now, The Herald can reveal. The former Prime Minister lost his first wife, Susan, in a road accident in 2009. He briefly married Lorcadia Karimatsenga in 2012, but the marriage ended in a costly manner as he had to pay upwards of US$200 000 to leave her so that he could wed Ms Macheka.

The Herald is reliably informed that Ms Macheka walked out on Mr Tsvangirai last month when he was in Nigeria consulting prophet TB Joshua.

Ms Macheka now lives in the Philadelphia section of Borrowdale while Mr Tsvangirai remains in Highlands.

Sources say close family members tried to resolve the "sensitive personal differences" between Mr Tsvangirai and Ms Macheka without success.

"Elizabeth's father (former Chitungwiza Mayor Mr Joseph Macheka) tried to intervene. He visited his daughter in Borrowdale and tried to impress upon her the essence of a marriage, but she would not co-operate," a source said

Mr Macheka was not available for comment yesterday.

There were reports that the MDC-T bought the Borrowdale house Ms Macheka is using but other reports say Ms Macheka built the house herself.

Mr Tsvangirai himself says they co-own the house that his estranged wife has moved into.

In an interview with The Herald at his Highlands residence yesterday, Mr Tsvangirai confirmed Ms Macheka was no longer living with him, but would not shed light on why she moved out.

"Ndizvo zvinonzi chakafukidza dzimba matenga (this is an example of a private affair). We do not have to disclose why we are not happy," he said.

When this writer arrived at the residence to interview Mr Tsvangirai, the MDC-T leader called his wife on her mobile number so that she too would give her side of the story to The Herald.

She did not answer the calls, and Mr Tsvangirai dispatched a driver to bring her to the house. The driver returned alone.

When Ms Macheka finally answered her husband's phone and spoke to this reporter, she said: "I cannot comment on that issue to the media.

"Hameno Tsvangirai, he is the one who is a public figure. He knows better. I am not a public figure and whether you damage me or Tsvangirai, hameno."

Throughout the interview, Mr Tsvangirai looked dejected.

He said he loved his wife and worked hard for his family.

"As far as I am concerned, I am still married to my wife and there is no reason to talk about separation or divorce.

"Marriage is about two people mutually committed to love and support each other and to be happy.

"If there are any differences which may arise, which is not something exceptional, we will discuss them as two mature adults. That is what I am committed to. Ours is a marriage that is in the public domain and therefore public scrutiny is natural but the truth is that there is no separation that I am aware of," Mr Tsvangirai said.

He denied claims by senior MDC-T sources that party funds were used to buy the Borrowdale house for Ms Macheka.

"I bought the house in Philadelphia as a joint property with my wife because; that is how it should be. There is no way I would live in Strathaven (his residence before he moved into the State property in Highlands as Prime Minister in the inclusive Government from 2009 to 2013). It is Susan's house. The party has not paid a cent to my settlement with Lorcadia and in any purchases that I may have made," Mr Tsvangirai said.

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