Tsvangirai’s wedding hits new snag

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HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday suffered another setback ahead of his wedding to Elizabeth Macheka tomorrow after a South African woman filed an urgent lawsuit to stop proceedings, as his dramatic love-life continues to haunt him.

Jilted ex-lover Nosipho Regina Shilubane, through her lawyer Wellington Pasipanodya of Manase and Manase law firm, filed an objection at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday morning challenging the premier’s wedding.

The matter was heard briefly yesterday in regional magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi’s chambers and adjourned to 0800hrs today.

Pasipanodya confirmed the matter has been set down for today.

“The matter has been postponed to tomorrow (today) at 0800hrs to allow others to go through the papers. The magistrate will only entertain written submissions; no oral submissions will be entertained,” he said.

The 35-year-old Shilubane claimed she was engaged to be married in January this year, but claims the PM postponed the wedding to December due to his hectic schedule.

“For all intents and purposes, we have and are still engaged to be married,” Shilubane said in her court papers. I am therefore shocked to discover that Morgan intends to marry another woman Elizabeth Macheka on Saturday the 15th September 2012 without my knowledge and without first of all finishing issues with me that is his proposal of marriage, engagement and his outstanding lobola negotiations and marriage to me.

“We are still very much in love and as such I object to a granting of a marriage licence. I am legally advised, which advice I take as my own, that I can object to the issuance of a marriage licence in terms of Section 19(1) and 19(3) of the Marriages Act (5:11).”

The latest action comes hardly a day after High Court Judge Antonia Guvava on Wednesday dismissed an application by another ex-fiancée Lorcadia Karimatsenga for an injunction to stop the wedding.

Like Shilubane, she also claimed she was married to the PM under customary laws.

The judge ruled that the union was not valid under Zimbabwe’s legal system.

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Yesterday, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said all this was part of a State security plot financed to the tune of $100 million to portray him as immoral and a liar.

“It seems there too many political fingers in a social pie,” Tamborinyoka said. “The PM can only marry one woman.”

The 60-year-old Tsvangirai, who is in a three-year shaky coalition with President Robert Mugabe, is alleged to have hitched the South African woman in September 2009 through her pastor, Lazarus Muriritirwa from the Gospel Assembly Church.

They reportedly first met at the Pallazio Hotel in Fourways in the Monte Casino Mall in South Africa where the premier proposed love to her saying he was a widower and had asked his pastor to find him a suitable wife.

The PM was in SA attending his son Edwin’s birthday party.

She says she was flown to Harare by the Premier on Sept. 18, 2009 via British Airways.

She said she stayed at Pastor Muriritirwa’s house in Borrowdale for two days.

“We made love for the first time on Saturday the 19th September 2009 at the pastor’s house in Borrowdale. I returned to South Africa on the 20th of September 2009,” says the papers.

After the visit, the PM allegedly moved the woman from Yeoville, a shanty town inhabited mostly by illegal immigrants and petty thieves, and arranged new lodgings for her at the relatively upmarket Buccleuch in northern Johannesburg after Sandton.

She claims to have received R13 000 from the PM through her Standard Bank account and moved into the Buccleuch Town House.

She claims to have gone on holidays with Tsvangirai to the Seychelles together with the PM’s twins Millicent and Vincent.

The holiday reportedly ran from December 28, 2009 to January 10, 2010 and she attached pages from her passport as proof.

She claims in January 2011 the PM said he wanted to “throw me in the kitchen.”

The mother of two said she introduced him to her two children as “my boyfriend.” She says he visited her on several occasions with his motorcade sometimes in South African Police Service motorcade vehicles.

In February 2011, she claims Tsvangirai proposed to marry her. She says she accepted the marriage proposal.
“During the whole of 2011, he would come to South Africa, he would come to our house and we would make love and do all things expected of an engaged couple in a relationship,” her court papers say.

“We would even see his friends like Ian Makone, his aides Wallace and Edgar Gobvu and he would always introduce me as his fiancée and future wife.”

She claims the PM started “acting funny” when stories of his numerous women erupted but says he rubbished the reports. In January 2012, her family convened and waited for the PM to come for the lobola negotiations but he did not pitch up, she told the court.

She claims she is still engaged to the PM and objects to the wedding.

The court will make a determination today. – Ivan Zhakata and Gift Phiri

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