Pomp, fanfare at PM's wedding

HARARE - Plush Rain Tree Lodge in Harare was the place to be on Saturday, at least for invited guests as Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai wedded his fiancée Elizabeth Macheka at a colourful ceremony punctuated by splendour, pomp and fanfare.

The wedding began shortly after 2pm when the Prime Minister arrived for the event accompanied by his best man, Zambian labour Minister Fackson Shamenda.

 The defiant Tsvangirai wearing a black suit was welcomed by a pipe band from one of Harare’s top private schools which played as he walked the white carpet.

 An hour later, the fiancée arrived chauffeured in a white Hummer limousine and as she walked the white carpet into the wedding ceremony a violinist played the tune Here Comes the Bride.

 The bride wore a white gown laced with glittering precious stones and had a glittering crown on her head.
 She was presented to the premier by her father, Joseph Macheka.

The couple exchanged vows and rings before hundreds of guests who were witnesses at the posh garden wedding venue that overlooks a flowing river.

Catholic priest, Father Patrick Makaka presided over the customary union and was quick to explain that the wedding was a customary one albeit in a white wedding setup.

Soon after the union took place there was a photo shoot where the bride and the groom played hide and seek as they took photos.

At around 5pm the two then drove to Glamis Arena in a convoy of about 20 expensive, top-of-the range vehicles under police escort where hundreds of MDC supporters welcomed their new “mother”.

The premier turned the heat on at the Glamis and accused political rivals of being jealousy.

He went on to kiss his wife right in front of the crowd who ululated in jubilation.

The couple later returned to the main ceremony at the Rain Tree Lodge and immediately danced to late South African musician Brenda Fassie’s hit song, It’s a Wedding Day.

MDC senior officials could not contain their joy and the likes of the party’s spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, deputy secretary-general Tapiwa Mashakada and Paurina Mpariwa exchanged their political gloves for dancing shoes as they joined the couple in dance.

The banquet was held under a big white tent which had linings of glittering stones.

High-profile guests included prominent musician Oliver Mtukudzi, swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda and Big Brother participant Maneta Mazanhi.

Other guests, especially women turned the wedding into a fashion show as they paraded fabulous designer, Indian, Chinese, American and African gowns.

Tsvangirai’s mother, who said she was happy, sang three songs for the couple and one of the bride’s aunties couldn’t take that lying low and she also took to the podium where she also got the guests on their feet as they joined her in singing.

Mtukudzi who wore a white outfit mesmerised guests with some of his popular tunes.

The only blemish into the ceremony was that invited head of states did not turn up.

Only the prime minister of Swaziland Barnabas Dlamini attended.

President Robert Mugabe also boycotted but this did not stop Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara from attending. - Lloyd Mbiba

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