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Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Finally Finds Love, Engaged to Marry

Long linked to a series of women, and largely criticized for his escapades, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai finally indicated Friday he was settling down.

Mr. Tsvangirai introduced his new fiancée, Elizabeth Macheka, at an engagement party in Harare, six months after terminating traditional marriage proceedings with another woman, Locadia Karimatsenga-Tembo.

His spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka told VOA’s Violet Gonda: “Yes, the prime minister has finally found his loved one. We are happy because he has now found us a mother.”

Tsvangirai was widowed in 2009 when his first wife, Susan, died in a car crash. Tamborinyoka said the prime minister had begun proceedings to formalize his relationship with the Harare business woman.

The move by Tsvangirai has not been without controversy, as was his failed affair with Karimatsenga. Macheka, a widow, is the daughter of a ZANU-PF politburo member and former mayor of Chitungwiza, Joseph Macheka.

Critics say Mr. Tsvangirai should have looked elsewhere and avoided marrying someone with strong ties to ZANU-PF.

But Tamborinyoka argued: “The Prime minister has not just plunged into this engagement. He has done thorough work on this issue and he is now committed to a new wife.”

“He can’t just plunge into a relationship without the necessary checks on the background of whoever he has fallen in love with.”

In November last year the prime minister ended his relationship with Karimatsenga-Tembo a day after paying the traditional bride price. He said he had been caught up in a media storm nurtured by the state agents, alleging a vague "plot.”

He said at the time: "Everything has been played in the press and I have become an innocent bystander in what is supposed to be my relationship. I have become a spectator in this relationship and things are happening too fast, on camera and without my knowledge.

"This has led me to conclude that there is a greater and thicker plot around this issue which has undermined my confidence in this relationship."

The premier drew criticism, in particular from Chief Luscious Chitsinde Negomo, who threatened to attach his property for failing to pay a fine for allegedly violating Shona tradition by marrying Tembo in November – a sacred month.

At the time Tembo, who was said to be pregnant, insisted she was still married to Mr. Tsvangirai under traditional law and went on to camp at the prime minister’s rural homestead in Buhera.

Asked if Tembo was still in Buhera, Tamborinyoka said: “She is no longer there and the fact that the prime minister has moved on is evidence enough that there has been some developments. All that is water under the bridge the prime minister has started a new relationship with a new wife.”