Court stops Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai’s wedding

September 14, 2012 7:00 pm


Tembo produced video evidence of the traditional marriage ceremony/XINHUA-File
HARARE, Sept 14, 2012 (AFP) – A Zimbabwean magistrate on Friday stopped the planned weekend wedding of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai after his ex-lover claimed they were still married, a lawyer and his spokesman said.

“The marriage licence that had been issued to the premier has been cancelled. There is in existence a customary law marriage between the prime minister and Ms Locardia Karimatsenga (Tembo),” her attorney Everson Samkange said.

“If he goes ahead with the wedding he will be committing bigamy.”

The ruling comes after Tembo filed a fresh bid in the magistrate’s court to block his marriage to Elizabeth Macheka and produced video evidence of the traditional marriage ceremony where Tsvangirai’s emissaries are shown paying the bride price on his behalf.

On Wednesday the High Court threw out her case on the grounds that she failed to prove that she was Tsvangirai’s wife.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed the licence had been cancelled, adding the magistrate’s court had on Thursday dismissed a similar case by a South African woman who claimed the premier promised to marry her.

His lawyers said they would appeal the annulment of the marriage licence.

“We will launch an urgent chamber application either tonight or tomorrow morning,” attorney Thabani Mpofu told journalists.

“If he goes ahead with the wedding he will be committing bigamy.”

Tsvangirai broke up with Tembo in November and has since become engaged to Macheka.

The wedding between Tsvangarai, 60, and Macheka, 35, the daughter of a senior member of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, had been expected to be attended by regional leaders and senior government officials.

Announcing the end of his relationship with Tembo last year, Tsvangirai said it had been “irretrievably damaged” to the point where marriage had become “inconceivable”.

Tsvangirai’s first wife of 31 years, Susan, was killed in a car accident in March 2009, just weeks after he went into a unity government with his long-time rival Mugabe following failed elections in 2008.


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