Tsvangirai engulfed in brand new love
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has found new love, The Standard can exclusively reveal.
Close relatives and friends said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader, who lost his first wife Susan in a car accident last year, is reportedly seeing a Harare businesswoman Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo.
“They have been seeing each other for the past six or so months,” said a close family friend.
“They love each other but the problem is that some party members are determined to wreck the blossoming relationship.”
Sources said Tsvangirai and Tembo first met in South Africa at the OR Tambo International Airport a few months ago and have since become “an item”.
The 38-year-old woman is a wealthy commodity-broker who supplies commodities to several chain stores in Harare and South Africa. She spends some of her time in South Africa where she owns a house.
In Harare, she owns a house in Greendale and is building another state-of-the-art two-storey house in the leafy suburb of Greystone Park. Tembo, who was once married to one Ben Muchedzi, has one child Tanaka (16) from her previous marriage.
She could not be reached for comment as she was said to be in South Africa on business the whole of last week. But the PM’s spokesperson James Maridadi yesterday professed ignorance about Tsvangirai’s new love interest.
“There are some elements who are taking advantage of the Prime Minister’s unfortunate circumstance of being a bachelor at the age of 58 and are peddling intelligent but morally disposable merchandise for no one’s benefit,” said Maridadi.
“If any such a thing existed, I would be the first one to know. I deny it categorically that it does exist.
“Nevertheless, when it comes to matters of the heart, the Prime Minister has a private life like anyone else and we pray that that privacy be respected.”
Sources in the MDC said some party members are determined to see the collapse of the relationship because Tembo is a blood sister to Zanu PF legislator for Goromonzi Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga.
Other than that, said the sources, the Nyamupingas are also related to Vice President Joice Mujuru. Biata’s husband, Felix Nyamupinga, is Zimbabwe’s deputy Ambassador to Australia.
“Some party members see the relationship as infiltration by Zanu PF and this is why they are against it but others are saying the Prime Minister should be allowed to choose a wife without other people’s interference,” said another source.
Baita Nyamupinga yesterday said she had not been briefed about the relationship.
“I don’t know about it,” she said. “I haven’t been told anything, that is, if there is any truth in what you are saying.”
Another source said there have been several attempts by some senior members in the MDC-T to link up Tsvangirai with Tembo but the MDC leader has been hesitant.
“He (Tsvangirai) has been saying he would find a suitable wife when the time comes. He is saying he is not in a hurry to do so because he wants to concentrate on his political career for now.”
Some party members and Tsvangirai’s relatives want him to marry his late wife’s sister Leah Mhundwa, who was made a care-taker mother to his six children following the death of Susan.
A ceremony was held at Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera a few months ago where he was introduced to his new “wife”. Then Maridadi said the two were not in love.
“It is true that a ceremony was held at the weekend, but that ceremony is not about Tsvangirai getting a wife. In Shona tradition, one year after the death of a spouse there is a process of choosing a caretaker mother,” he said.
Under the custom, Mhundwa is expected to take care of Tsvangirai and his children -- Edwin, Garikai, Vimbai, Rumbidzai and twins Milicent and Vincent. The practice is known as kumutsa mapfihwa which literally means restoring hearth stones. In Shona when a woman dies the hearth stones in her kitchen are said to have fallen.
According to the tradition, the widower is given a young lady from his wife’s family to marry and hence restore the hearth stones.. Inter-party marriages are not new in the MDC. A senior member of the MDC and Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo is married to Sithembiso Nyoni’s daughter.
Nyoni is a Zanu PF politburo member and a former minister in President Robert Mugabe’s government.