Tsvangirai circumvents court order over wedding

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai married his fiancee Elizabeth Macheka on Saturday, despite a court ruling a day earlier that found he was still married.

Wearing a black suit, the 60-year-old leader of the Movement for Democratic Change exchanged vows with the 35-year-old bride at a colourful ceremony in a Harare stadium, presided over by a Catholic bishop and attended by around 2,000 supporters.

Last year, the premier divorced Locar­dia Karimatsenga, just 12 days after the two were married at a traditional ceremony, citing pressure from her relatives. A court ruled on Friday that Tsvangirai was still legally married to her and would face bigamy charges if he went ahead with his plans to tie the knot.

Tsvangirai told his supporters before the ceremony that the court ruling was politically motivated.

“As a party we follow the law,” he said. “As a party we don’t violate the law, but there are other people who would like to abuse the law for their own political acts that we reject, that we condemn.” 

There was no signing of a marriage register on Saturday.

President Robert Mugabe — who formed a coalition government with Tsvangirai in 2009 — did not attend the ceremony.

After his wife, Susan, died in a car crash in 2009, Tsvangirai’s love life and a string of failed relationships have come to overshadow his political career.

Karimatsenga is demanding 15,000 dollars a month in maintenance from Tsvangirai, in a separate legal matter to be heard on September 21.

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