HomeNewsKnives out for Makones as Tsvangirai weds

Knives out for Makones as Tsvangirai weds

PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is under pressure to sideline officials and aides who allegedly failed to give him sound advice resulting in his public humiliation last week when the courts cancelled a marriage licence to wed Elizabeth Macheka.

Report by Patrice Makova
“As much as we can blame the intelligence or Zanu PF for what happened, it is incumbent upon the party and Tsvangirai to do some kind of soul searching in order to come up with accurate answers,” said a senior MDC-T official yesterday.

The official said before any damage control could be done, there was a need for Tsvangirai to re-examine the role played by his closest advisers, the so-called “Kitchen Cabinet” which reportedly influences critical decisions in the MDC-T.
MDC-T sources said among the officials under scrutiny are Home Affairs co-minister, Theresa Makone and her husband Ian, who is Tsvangirai’s chief secretary and confidant.

Theresa was present when Tsvangirai’s emissaries were paying  lobola for Karimatsenga in November last year.  In an recent interview with The Standard, Theresa distanced herself from Tsvangirai’s love affairs.

MDC-T sources said Tsvangirai should have been advised to do the correct thing — formally ending the marriage to Karimatsenga before announcing plans to wed Macheka.

“All along the nation was made to believe that no marriage took place between Tsvangirai and Karimatsenga, save for payment of damages only for a video to surface in court confirming  that indeed lobola was paid,” said another official.
The video showed a high powered delegation that went to Locardia’s family where they paid lobola.

Political scientist, Dr Ibbo Mandaza said while the scandal would definitely tarnish Tsvangirai’s image from a moral point of view, it could also turn out to be ironic that most people would view him as a victim of a political plot.

“The public to a large  extent view with suspicion the problems facing the Prime Minister as they believe there is a political hand behind it,” he said.
Mandaza said those who wanted to maximise on Tsvangirai’s mistakes were now making him a hero and “martyr”.

He said this was not the first time Tsvangirai had encountered serious problems which dented his image.

“In 2007 he was in the political wilderness but he survived to an extent of winning elections the following year,” said Mandaza.

He said people in MDC-T who wanted him to exist politically had no alternative but to “repackage” him in order to restore his image.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka on Friday said some of the claims made by ex-lovers were part of a grand political scheme to “besmirch, to malign and to soil the image of the Prime Minister for political gain”.

“There are those who have obviously sought to dip political fingers in a social pie,” he said.

Greg Lennington, a constitutional expert who teaches law at the University of Zimbabwe’s faculty of Political Science said Tsvangirai’s marriage problems were personal issues which should not be politicised.

“I am not sure how the public will react, but this is a purely personal matter although his (Tsvangirai) opponents may try to capitalise on this,” he said.
But another University of Zimbabwe Political Science lecturer, Dr Joseph Kurebwa said the scandal raised a lot of questions about the Prime Minister’s credibility as a national leader.

“The nation in general and the electorate in particular want someone clear minded, who runs his personal affairs in an exemplary manner,” he said. “This scandal may lead to lack of confidence, trust and support for him. He will need a massive campaign to do damage control but this could be hard for his party.”

Kurebwa said although South African President Jacob Zuma was involved in almost similar scandals, there was a clear contrast as the Zulu culture accepted polygamous relationships.

But whatever the fallout from the marriage scandal is going to be, it would be wise for Tsvangirai to read The Words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him in the Bible’s Proverbs 31 verses 1 to 3.

It goes: “What my son? And what the son of my womb? And what the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to which destroyeth Kings.”

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