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[Published: Friday September 14 2012]

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai set to marry after court victory

Harare, 14 Sep - (ANA) - A court in Zimbabwe has thrown out a bid by a woman to block Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wedding on Saturday to his fiancee, Elizabeth Macheka. Locadia Tembo had argued that the wedding could not take place because she was herself Mr Tsvangirai's wife under customary law. But High Court Judge Antonia Guvava ruled such marriages were not valid. Some analysts say it is part of a political dirty tricks campaign to smear the prime minister's reputation. But others say he only has himself to blame as he has been involved with a number of women since his wife died in a car crash soon after he became prime minister in 2009. Reports say another woman, Nozipho Shilubane from South Africa, filed papers yesterday at a magistrates' court in an attempt to stop Mr Tsvangirai's marriage. She says she became engaged to Mr Tsvangirai in South Africa and that he promised to marry her. The case will be heard today. President Robert Mugabe, who is in a fractious coalition with Mr Tsvangirai, is due to attend Saturday's wedding which is expected to take place in an upmarket area north of Harare.

Mr Mugabe is due to host a post-wedding banquet for other heads of state who will be there, he says. Mr Tsvangirai, 59, and Mr Mugabe - the leaders of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Zanu-PF respectively - are expected to run against each other in presidential elections, due next year. Ms Tembo, a businesswoman, has been demanding $15,000 (£9,310) a month in maintenance expenses from the prime minister. Mr Tsvangirai's 35-year-old bride is the daughter of Zanu-PF loyalist and former Chitungwiza mayor Joseph Macheka. In November, reports said Ms Tembo and Mr Tsvangirai held a traditional wedding, and Mr Tsvangirai had paid a bride price of several hundred thousand dollars. Shortly thereafter, Mr Tsvangirai said their relationship had been "irretrievably damaged" after it was "hijacked" by his opponents, including state security agents.(ANA)

FA/ANA/14 September 2012-----------


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