Of PM Tsvangirai And That Remarriage Denial
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has moved to quash reports that he has gotten himself hitched to Locadia Tembo (or Karimatsenga).
Instead, our PM says he was paying damages on account of him giving Tembo twins which she is expecting.
This denial is a bit silly, really especially in the middle of Tembo’s family saying that there was indeed a marriage. Tembo’s sister who is ZANU-PF legislator has been going to town about the whole thing and MDC-T legislators have been calling her amaiguru.
Some say the good old PM akatizirwa (ie the girl pitched up at his house and said she wasn’t leaving). Some sources in the MDC say that it was entrapment. The PM was going to pay damages and he got roped into marrying Locadia. The family running to the press was to ensure the PM was locked into the marriage.
As it stands from a PR point of view this is nothing short of a disaster. First of all the PM has taken two days to respond to the story. His spokesperson’s ‘I know nothing’ approach is nothing short of silly.
Next thing if he has gotten her pregnant and he is not going to marry her some of the conservative people might not take too kindly to it. Remember the Loreta Nyathi and the unnamed lovechild?
Now, OK, if it is simply paying for damages last time I checked, our custom says that damage is only paid when the woman is carrying her first child. Tembo had a kid 16 years ago.
Now, if he does end up marrying, he will come across as a liar. Why deny it if you are going to end up doing it. It is said that she is your long-term lover so if she is then you can spin it as doing the right thing.
Whatever happens, the PM has handled this as poorly as he possibly could have. Sure the news did not come out in the best way, but in a connected world the best way to manage the news is not to pretend it doesn’t exist or to make denials that are the equivalent of the homework story in high school.
Yes, the PM has a right to privacy but a matter of this nature is of national interest. The character of leaders is becoming an important part of the Zimbabwean political decision-making process and if our PM is going to be sneaking about then we get worried about what else he sneaks about.