Court dismisses Tsvangirai's application

HARARE - Prime Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai’s battle with estranged “wife” Locardia Karimatsenga continues following the dismissal of the premier’s application seeking Karimatsenga’s case to be struck off the court roll.

Karimatsenga is demanding a whopping $15 000 every month in maintenance at the civil court.

The PM, who has been ruled by the magistrates’ court to be customarily married to the property broker had urged Harare magistrate Rueben Mukavhi to strike the matter off the court roll, arguing it was improperly served and was not presented on oath.

“This application is void. Being void nothing can be put on it. It is an unnecessary burden on the court roll and must be deposed off,” said Tsvangirai’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu.

Mpofu said the case was not properly before the court, arguing that procedure for a maintenance application was not properly followed.

“If this court does not follow the law, the effects are that of reducing the court into a headman sitting under a muchakata tree. The application was not served in terms of the Maintenance Act and the regulation.
If service is not properly done then proceedings are invalid. This application is dog’s breakfast for its failure to comply with the law,” said Mpofu.

Karimatsenga’s lawyer Everson Samkange said the issues raised by Mpofu were “mischievous”.

“The application complies with the requirements of the Maintenance Act. Reference to the regulations is not only misplaced but is intended to delay and circumvent a clear and just cause. The honourable thing that should have been done by the respondent is to file their notice of opposition. They had ample time, they should have done so,” said Samkange.

Magistrate Mukavhi dismissed all the issues raised by Mpofu and said the papers were in order and the matter should proceed to be heard on merits.

The PM’s drama began unfolding after he announced his wedding plans with Elizabeth Macheka.

Karimatsenga, who still claims to be in love, made an application with the courts, seeking the stoppage of the wedding.

The magistrates’ court ruled that Tsvangirai could not tie the knot with Macheka as he was traditionally married to Karimatsenga, a judgment that was upheld by the High Court.

She now wants the premier to take care of her. In her maintenance application, Karimatsenga claims that she looks up to Tsvangirai as her husband and therefore the need for maintenance.

“I looked to him for financial support for the past year. Respondent, as my husband, has a responsibility to maintain me,” she said.

Karimatsenga claims that she is used to a high standard of living, which she was introduced to by the MDC leader.

“The respondent is in a position to pay maintenance for my upkeep in the sum of   $15 000 per month. The respondent is the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and is handsomely paid. He also has means of the income.”

Karimatsenga was forced to take the PM to court after he ignored letters to settle the matter out of court.

Tsvangirai terminated his marriage to Karimatsenga after only 12 days, claiming it had been hijacked by the media and intelligence agents. - Tendai Kamhungira

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