Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday married his long-time girlfriend Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo (39).
Relatives said he paid $36 000 at a ceremony held at the Tembo family home in Christon Bank, some 20km outside Harare.
Locadia’s aunt, Felistus Munhanga, confirmed the development last night, saying they were happy with the way Tsvangirai had fulfilled the traditional marriage rites (lobola/roora).
According to her, the Premier also asked for a white wedding to be held at a date to be confirmed soon.
Munhanga said Tsvangirai paid 10 head of cattle, in addition to the entire lobola. Tsvangirai brought a delegation of five including his first-born son, Edwin.
His go-between Innocent Zvaipa and the delegation arrived at around 2pm yesterday.
“We are happy that the PM of Zimbabwe brought groceries which filled the entire room, groceries that show that he is a Prime Minister for sure and this shows that he really wanted to marry our relative,” Munhanga added.
Born in 1972, Tembo, a wealthy Harare commodity broker, was previously married
to one Ben Muchedzi and has one child Tanaka (16) from that union.
She attended Queen Elizabeth High School before enrolling at Speciss College in Harare to study Business Management.
Tsvangirai lost his first wife, Susan, on June 6, 2009 in a tragic car crash near Featherstone on their way to their rural home in Buhera.
The Prime Minister and Locadia were first spotted in public together early last year at a church gathering conducted by US televangelist Joyce Meyer at the Celebration Centre in Harare.
Tembo is believed to be close to Tsvangirai’s first daughter Vimbai and the two attend the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, led by Nigerian pastor TB Joshua.
Tembo is reportedly a sister to Zanu PF legislator for Goromonzi Biata Beatrice Nyamupinga, a connection which some MDC-T hardliners were reportedly uncomfortable with.
They were reportedly pushing for Tsvangirai to marry his late wife’s younger sister Leah Mhundwa, who was made a caretaker mother for his children following Susan’s death.
Nyamupinga last night also confirmed the marriage.
“Everything went on very well. We are now waiting for the wedding bells.”
But Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka vehemently denied the Premier had paid lobola for his new wife.
“As far as I am concerned, the Prime Minister spent the whole day at his Charter House office. I know of no such event that ever took place today,” Tamborinyoka added.
Informed sources said Tsvangirai and Locadia first met in South Africa at the OR Tambo International Airport sometime last year and have been close ever since.
Tembo’s business reportedly supplies goods to several chain stores in Harare and South Africa.