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Court Cancels Zimbabwe Prime Minister’s Wedding


Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seen during a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in Harare (file).

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is seen during a meeting with President Robert Mugabe in Harare (file).

A court in Zimbabwe has cancelled the wedding of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, set for Saturday, after two women separately filed interdicts. One of them - a South African - says she is engaged to Tsvangirai and was promised marriage, while another one claims she married him in November of last year and that that marriage is still valid.

The court has ruled that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had an existing marriage with a woman he wed last November. Everson Samkange, the lawyer for the woman was visibly happy when he left the court.

"The day has been the best day ever. It has recognized the rights of an African woman, and the marriage license that had been issued to the premier of Zimbabwe has been cancelled because there is a lawful impediment to the intended wedding," Samkange said. "The impediment is that there is an existence customary law union between the premier and Locardia Karimatsenga, my client."

As the drama was unfolding in court, some African leaders were jetting in for the wedding set for Saturday, among them King Mswati III of Swaziland. Friday, state media said Tsvangirai risked being arrested for bigamy.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said his legal team would leave no stone unturned in trying to legally go ahead with the wedding planned for Saturday.

“What is now happening is that our lawyers are going to the High Court to appeal against the cancellation,” he explained.

Tamborinyoka hoped the High Court appeal would be heard late Friday or on the day of the wedding, Saturday.

The drama started last November when Tsvangirai publicly divorced his then wife, Locardia Karimatsenga, after 12 days in customary marriage, citing pressure from the bride’s relatives and political pressure from the ZANU-PF party, which is the party of Tsvangirai's political rival, President Robert Mugabe.

Earlier this year, he announced that he had found a new love to replace the wife who died in a car accident three years ago.

On Tuesday, Karimatsenga sought an interdict saying her marriage from last year was still valid.

A South African woman who claimed she was engaged last year to Tsvangirai, and was promised marriage, filed for an interdict as well. On Friday, the media was awash with photos of Tsvangirai and the South African woman on holiday in Seychelles.
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