Tsvangirai Marriage To Elizabeth Macheka Annulled

This means that the wedding celebrations may not be held on Saturday as planned although Tsvangirai’s lawyer, Innocent Chagonda, was launching an urgent High Court application on Friday evening against the ruling by magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi.

Chagonda said he was disappointed with the ruling because the court had misdirected itself.

Tsvangirai spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyika, said celebrations would go ahead, although they may not be a real wedding.

Mutevedzi ruled that Tsvangirai’s customary marriage was still valid because the cultural procedure to terminate the marriage had not been properly followed.

The magistrate cancelled the marriage licence, obtained on August 27, after viewing a full video of Tsvangirai’s customary marriage to Karimatsenga.

It emerged during the hearing that Tsvangirai lawyers had attached a one dollar note as proof that the Prime Minister had divorced Karimatsenga, but the magistrate told them it was unprocedural.

A High Court judge had earlier dismissed Karimatsenga’s application, saying cutomary marriage was not recognised at law and not registered but had advised that Karimatsenga had time to seek cancelling of the marriage licence.

The cancellation of the marriage licence complicates the Prime Minister’s wedding plans because if he goes ahead to wed Macheka, the daughter of a Zanu (PF) politician, he will be accused of bigamy.

Analysts fear the court case will be used against Tsvangirai during election time. Zanu (PF)’s Jonathan Moyo, has already been castigating Tsvangirai as someone who has an open zip policy and shut mind politics mentality.

Karimatsenga had been claiming $15 000 maintenance.

Tsvangirai’s marriage to Karimatsenga had only lasted a few days. Tsvangirai had terminated it citing interference from Zanu (PF). But in recent weeks Tsvangirai had been denying that he had married Karimatsenga, saying he only paid damage to her family after she had fallen pregnant.

The wedding on Saturday was supposed to be held at an upmarket lodge in Harare.His rival, President Robert Mugabe and other regional leaders had been invited to attend.

Karimatsenga’s lawyer Everson Samkange said he was happy with the ruling because it empowered women who were married under customary laws.

“We are glad that the case has finally been settled and today is a celebration day for the African Women,” Samkange said.

Mutevedzi, however, dismissed the application by a South African woman, Nosipho Regina Shilubane, who had also sought to have the weeding cancelled on grounds that Tsvangirai had promised to marry her.