Locardia's big pay day

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s estranged wife Locardia Karimatsenga has landed herself a big pay day after agreeing to shelve court proceedings in exchange for a lump sum.

The two yesterday agreed to take their maintenance case out of the public glare with lawyers tight-lipped on the unfolding talks that will see the premier make a once off payment to cut ties with the former lover who was once pregnant with his twins before a miscarriage.

Locardia dragged Tsvangirai to court to push for maintenance and also to foil the premier’s planned wedding to current wife Elizabeth Macheka.

The wedding, slated for  September 15, was reduced to a customary union after Locardia’s successful court application.

The maintenance case also appears out of the window after the court heard that the former lovebirds are talking about solving their affair privately.

Yesterday at the Civil Courts, the case took off in fits and starts as lawyers agreed by consent to have the case deferred to 11.15am from 9am.

However, at the agreed time, the lawyers decided again by consent to go to the magistrate Reuben Mukavi’s chambers to discuss the issue.

Emerging from the court the usually bantering lawyers were strangely quiet.

But in recorded court statements seen by the Daily News, Tsvangirai’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu said they believed in settling the matter outside the courts.

"We have been talking to each other as counsels. We believe we owe it to the profession, to the court and to the generality of Zimbabweans that we settle this matter.

“We have been able to find each other and we believe there is a way to settle this issue that will not involve the court,” said Mpofu.

Locardia’s lawyer Everson Samukange, who also refused to shed light on the maintenance proceedings, also recorded in court that the twom parties had agreed to take the matter from the courts and expressed hope that they will succeed in reaching an agreement.

"I can confirm that there are processes that are going on and we expect to be able to settle the matter without the involvement of the court. We do not expect to fail. The respondent has approached us and we think it is possible for us to settle it,” said Samukange.

After the court session, the two parties went into a closed door meeting at Samukange’s offices where they spent close to two hours locked in talks.

The lawyers refused to disclose a figure.

Locardia, who was part of the meeting, also refused to tell waiting journalists how much she could bag.

But the jackpot smile on her face as she left the meeting betrayed that she might be in for a big purse.

"We have agreed that with the indulgence of this court, this matter could be postponed to allow the processes we are carrying out to unfold," said Mpofu.

And there was no objection from Samukange.

The case has been postponed to October 18, where the court will likely hear and endorse whatever settlement the two parties would have agreed to.

Locardia initially demanded $15 000 monthly maintenance from Tsvangirai and the case has been dragging on since last month.

Outside the courts, Tsvangirai had been dispatching emissaries to try and coax his ex-lover into a gentleman’s settlement with little success until yesterday.

Locardia was on record as being open to dialogue with the man who is now married to another woman, Elizabeth.

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