HARARE, Oct 19 – Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s bid for an out-of-court settlement with an ex-lover whom he dumped to marry another woman collapsed after their lawyers differed on their offers, one of them said Friday.
Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo had gone to a civil court demanding US $15,000 per month in maintenance payments from Tsvangirai following his marriage to Elizabeth Macheka.
Their lawyers on Thursday asked the magistrate to stand down the case while they tried to thrash out an out-of-court deal.
“There was no agreement, so the discussions fell away,” Tembo’s lawyer Everson Samukange told AFP.
“I don’t think there are any chances of further negotiations so we are going back to court next week.”
He refused to reveal the cause of the deadlock, only saying: “We failed to agree with their terms of the agreement.”
Tsvangirai’s monthly salary is unclear, but the average wage for a cabinet minister in Zimbabwe is about $900.
Samukange said Tembo’s interest was not in the money but to assert her rights as a woman. She also wants Tsvangirai to apologise to her family for the failed marriage.
“My client is not a pauper,” the lawyer said. “She is merely asserting her rights as a married woman.”
Tsvangirai married Macheka last month under the country’s customary law after Tembo and South African woman Nosipho Shilubane both tried in separate attempts to block the marriage.
Tembo claimed he was already married to Tsvangirai under customary law, which allows a man to have as many wives as he wants. Days later Shilubane stepped in with a claim that the premier had promised to marry her.
Tsvangirai has publicly apologised for the affairs with the two women, saying he had no intention to hurt them.
His 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 President Robert Mugabe following failed elections in 2008.