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South African Woman Attempts to Block Zimbabwe PM Marriage

It never rains but pours for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai as yet another woman has filed a High Court application seeking to block his Saturday marriage to Elizabeth Macheka claiming that the premier promised to marry her.

In the court papers, 35 year-old Nosipho Regina Shilubane of South Africa, claims that Mr. Tsvangirai breached his promise to pay a bride price or lobola between December 2011 and January this year.

She claims that the prime minister did not turn up for the traditional lobola ceremony due to what the premier said were pressing government issues.

The irate woman, who presented so-called romantic pictures of her with Mr. Tsvangirai, claims that she visited several resorts with the premier adding that their engagement party was held in 2010.

This case comes at a time when the High Court dismissed Thursday the first application filed by prominent businesswoman, Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo, who was seeking to block his wedding claiming that she was her traditional wife.

One of Karimatsenga Tembo’s attorneys, Dumisani Mtombeni, said the defense team requested more time to go through objection papers filed by Shilubane and Karimatsenga's lawyers to the magistrate who issued a marriage license to Mr. Tsvangirai.

Harare magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi said he won’t entertain any oral submissions Friday to allow any party that would be aggrieved by his ruling to seek further recourse in superior courts before the wedding day.
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In a statement last night, Mr. Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the two interdicts “are clearly a well-choreographed move replete with malice and vindictiveness as they are not normal claims”.

“Nonetheless, the prime minister’s lawyers have opposed them. As you are aware the prime minister lost his wife of 31 years in a fatal accident in 2009 and … would like to thank Zimbabweans across the political divide and across the social spectrum for their support since his bereavement until the latest tribulations,” said Tamborinyoka.

He said Mr. Tsvangirai has sought to move on and in the process there have been claims, some of which are out-rightly malicious.

He said the latest claim, which was lodged through some newspapers before being taken to the courts of law, has sought to wrongfully allege that the complainant is engaged to the prime minister.

“This is false. Some of the claims are part of a grand political scheme to besmirch, to malign and to soil the image of the prime minister for political gain,” he said.

He noted that there are “those who have obviously sought to dip political fingers in a social pie”

“The prime minister will brave these political machinations and he gives his assurance they will not sway him from his goal of bringing real change and transformation to the people of Zimbabwe,” said Tamborinyoka.

Some observers say these claims and others linking the prime minister to several women have tarnished his image.

Several human rights attorneys say the latest court case does not have any legal basis.