Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai claims wedding was 'sting'

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The Independent Online

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, says he has ended his relationship with a businesswoman days after paying a bride price for her. He claimed their affair was a choreographed political sting.

Locadia Tembo, a 39-year-old commodity broker, is said to have married Mr Tsvangirai, 59, in a traditional ceremony after she became pregnant.

Mr Tsvangirai's wife, Susan, died in a car crash in 2009, soon after he became Prime Minister.

The state Herald newspaper said Mr Tsvangirai paid Z$36,000 (£63.27) and five cattle in traditional "bride price" at a ceremony last month at her family's homestead north of Harare. A church wedding was planned.

But Mr Tsvangirai said he became concerned about the motives of the family. He said: "My genuine intention has been betrayed, and hearts have had to search long and hard for the true meaning of this well-choreographed drama that has now been hijacked to cause political damage to my person and character."

Ms Tembo is the sister of an MP from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai were political adversaries for years until they joined into a troubled power-sharing agreement in 2009.