The statement by Tsvangirai was the first time he publicly spoke about the matter which grabbed front page headlines over the last two weeks.
“I feel that the people of Zimbabwe deserve to know my position on this matter, which to a large extent has damaged not only the reputations of the two of us involved in this relationship, but equally so the public image of the Tsvangirai and Karimatsenga families,” said Tsvangirai in a statement released by his information team on Face Book and via e-mails.
Tsvangirai confirmed that he had indeed put into motion the process of marrying Karimatsenga by performing traditional marriage rites on 18 November when he sent a delegation comprising of his relatives to the Karimatsenga homestead in Christon Bank near Mazowe.
“I was well-meaning and had good intentions to re-build my family and start a new lease of life following the tragic passing on of my wife on 6 March 2009. But since the day I sent a delegation to the Karimatsenga family, everything has been played in the press and I have become an innocent bystander in what is supposed to be my relationship,” said Tsvangirai suggesting that his lover might have been working in cahoots with other people to drive his relationship.
“I have become a spectator in this relationship and things are happening too fast, on camera and without my knowledge. This has led me to conclude that there is a greater and thicker plot around this issue which has undermined my confidence in this relationship.”
Karimatsenga is reported to have visited the premier’s Buhera homestead at the weekend without his knowledge and performed traditional chores normally conducted by a daughter in law.
“The “marriage” has been hijacked and there is an apparent active political hand that is now driving the processes. State security agents have also weighed in to force and direct proceedings which have resulted in everything regarding this relationship now taking place in camera, with the public media journalists in tow,” said Tsvangirai.
“Everything is so well choreographed. The intention is clear: to inflict maximum damage on my person and character for political gain. This has caused me to have serious misgivings as to whether this will be a perfect union that will inspire young couples and reflect marriage as the noble and respectable institution that it is. My original intention was to make this thing work, to rebuild my family once again and to serve my country with honour and distinction not only as a national leader, but as a respected family man who owned up to his responsibility by following cultural and traditional procedures.”
Tsvangirai also took time to apologise to Zimbabweans for how he handled the love saga.
“There are many things I have learnt in the process and one is that with the benefit of hindsight, I could have done things differently.
In this regard, I apologise to every single Zimbabwean for any discomfort caused by any of my actions,” said Tsvangirai.
“I want to admit that the last two weeks have been particularly bad for me, my children, my family and even ordinary Zimbabweans who have sought to find meaning to this sordid saga.”
Meanwhile President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday asked the media to keep off Tsvangirai’s marriage controversy.
Addressing delegates at the official launch of the Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited employee share ownership trust, Mugabe said he longed for peace to prevail in the country so that people can choose whom they want to marry.
“Munhu kana asarudza zvake munomushorerei mapepa naye naye [if someone chooses who to marry, the media should stop bothering that person],” he said amid thunderous applause.