The month of November in the African nation of Zimbabwe is labelled as “sacred,” according to ancient folklore. This tribal belief prohibits marriage negotiations throughout the eleventh month of the year.
Local news outlets are reporting (via the Associated Press
) that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a widower, allegedly paid a “bride price” when he was in a relationship with a Harare businesswoman, Locardia Tembo. They were set to be married in November. The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) admitted the relationship but denied the marriage.
Due to allegedly breaking the sacred ritual, Tsvangirai has been fined two cows, two sheep and 10 metres of cotton cloth – some news agencies are reporting
that a goat was included in the fine. Local authorities say he was given 30 days to pay the chief. Tembo’s family was also fined.
MDC dismissed Chiweshe’s Chief Negomo, Luscious Chitsinde, claims and accuses President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) of falsifying information to discredit the prime minister.
The prime minister was also ordered to appear before a court, which was boycotted by the former secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions. Douglas Mwonzora, MDC spokesperson, confirmed that Tsvangirai would not pay the fine
“From a legal point, Tsvangirai will not appear before your court because the entire process is manifestly illegal and void,” said Selby Hwacha, Tsvangirai’s lawyer, according to the Zimbabwe Standard
. “It appears to us that you have not read and or that you do not understand the law, province and your limits as a traditional Chief.”
“Our hearing went on well, despite the Prime Minister’s decision to disrespect the court by absconding,” said the chief’s assessor, Cairo Mhandu.
This story comes as Mugabe vowed not to retire
until “illegal sanctions” are lifted because it would be “cowardice.”