Tsvangirai’s marriage raises eyebrows
Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has come under fire from traditionalists after he paid bride price for a new wife in this month, which considered sacred in local culture.
Tsvangirai reportedly paid US$36 000 and 10 head of cattle to get the hand of a Harare businesswomen in marriage.
The Zimbabwean politician who leads the larger faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) lost his first wife in a road accident soon after entering a power sharing government with long time ruler President Robert Mugabe.
His traditional marriage on Monday has dominated news headlines in a country that has always been pre-occupied with politics.
But traditionalists say the marriage is taboo in the Shona culture.
Tsvangirai and his new wife Locadia Tembo are from Zimbabwe’s majority Shona tribe.
We consider this as a dark sin in our culture
The privately owned NewsDay quoted a traditional leader identified as Chief Chirau saying the PM must be disciplined.
“We consider this as a dark sin in our culture and the Prime Minister together with the in-laws who opened their hands for the bride price should be brought before the traditional courts to answer for their actions,” the chief said.
Tsvangirai had been linked to a string of women after his wife’s death.
Sources close to Tsvangirai say he swiftly moved to marry his long-term lover after she fell pregnant and could be carrying twins.
Tembo’s family asked Tsvangirai to pay “damages” for impregnating her outside wedlock – a traditional practice normally employed when the woman is pregnant with her first child.
The Prime Minister was also charged five more head of cattle.
Eyewitnesses told of how Tsvangirai rolled into her wife’s homestead in a long convoy with curious onlookers in tow.