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Judge to Rule on Bid to Stop Tsvangira's Wedding

An estranged lover of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has filed an urgent court application seeking an interdict to stop his pending wedding with another woman.

Mr. Tsvangirai is set to tie the knot on September 15 with his wife, Elizabeth Macheka, at the glamorous Rain Tree Café in Harare.

But seeking to prevent the ceremony, the prime minister's former partner Locardia Karimatsenga argues that if Mr. Tsvangirai marries Macheka, she will no longer enjoy her conjugal rights "as this would mean we are committing adultery".

In an application filed with the High Court Friday, the woman argued that she is still married to the prime minister under customary law.

She noted that the wedding will "effectively divorce me by operation of law."

"I will not be entitled to any of the privileges and rights that I have been entitled to as a spouse, such as conjugal rights, love, affection and companionship," Karimatsenga stated.

The matter has been set down for hearing in court chambers Tuesday before Justice Guvava.

The respondents are Mr. Tsvangirai, Macheka, Bishop Levy Kadenge, who is set to preside over the marriage, and the Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede whose office is responsible for the issuance of marriage certificates.

The four were served with the court papers by the litigant's lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, early Friday.

Karimatsenga also questions Tsvangirai's mental stability, saying that he has acted out of order since she had a miscarriage and lost his unborn child.

“My husband, I believe, could be suffering from psychological and mental problems as a result of this miscarriage,” she claimed in the court papers.

On Wednesday, she filed a suit in the Harare Magistrates Court seeking spousal support of $15,000 per month from Mr. Tsvangirai, whose first wife, Susan, died in a horrific 2009 car crash.

But it is the High Court application that has grabbed national attention, and could cause the Movement for Democratic Change leader a lot of humiliation if it is granted.

It is understood that he has already sent letters of invitation to several local and foreign dignitaries, including heads of state, diplomats, party members, close friends and family members.

“I must point out that I will not give up my right to be my husband’s first wife," Karimatsenga vowed. "I believe I am entitled to protect my interests and rights and I can only do so by coming to this honorable court.”

Her lawyer Samkange told VOA he is hopeful the judge will rule in their favor.
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But Tsvangirai's lawyer, Innocent Chagonda said the prime minister had instructed him to file opposing papers. He said the case was nothing but an attempt to embarrass the prime minister.
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"Our view is that there is absolutely no basis upon which that application has been filed, and we are very, very confident that the court will make such a finding," he said.

His perspective was shared by Bulawayo-based attorney Job Sibanda who told VOA Karimatsenga’s application has no merit.
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Mr. Tsvangirai is currently believed to be paying maintenance for a young Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi, with whom he had a brief romance that ended in the conception of a child in 2010.