Tsvangirai must restore image

HARARE - Elizabeth Macheka once described her husband, Morgan Tsvangirai as a good man with a big heart. What could go wrong for the couple?

While last week’s announcement that they were on separation had the surprise quotient of a snowfall in the Lowveld, many Zimbabweans were intrigued by its timing.

The Tsvangirais have scowled and borne it for the best part of two years, gamely adhering to Tolstoy’s maxim that what counts in a marriage “is not how compatible you are, but how you deal with the incompatibility”, and even managing to make the occasional joint appearance.

Their marriage has survived tumultuous times, including allegations of an improper communication and liaison with the missus’ ex.

Even their wedding faced two interdicts seeking to stop the union in what was clearly a well-choreographed move replete with malice and vindictiveness.

After Lorcadia Karimatsenga’s bid to stop the wedding was thrown out, another South African woman tabled fresh objections again seeking to scuttle the wedding.

It was evident these were not normal claims.

After the wedding proceeded unhindered, there was crisis building in paradise nonetheless.

And then the State media dropped the bombshell. The episode was so clearly staged — so tasteless in its execution — it has merely fed the sense that something else is going on. This is absolutely unprecedented.

Since independence in 1980, no Zimbabwean leader has lifted the veil on his private life.

The prevailing theory is that both the Tsvangirais, particularly Elizabeth, a 36-year-old businesswoman, thought it was time to clear things up.

The gossip flying around dinner tables had reached an embarrassing pitch, with stories of the wife living in a separate house in Borrowdale, and her husband supposedly living in Highlands.

Other acquaintances tended to portray them as simply too different in nature to get along.

With Tsvangirai’s failure to rise to power, the strains in the relationship became ever more obvious, even though both deny this.

Elizabeth stayed out of the limelight, and, until recently, Tsvangirai, too, stuck to the agreed script — telling journalists to keep their snotty noses out of his private affairs.

Then somehow, he decided to give the exclusive to the State media.

If life has been difficult for the opposition leader’s wife, it is unlikely to be much easier as his ex.

There are perils to separating with powerful husbands, and include poverty, boredom, and loss of freedom.

Critics say the drama has showed the well-documented weakness of Tsvangirai’s personal character — his infidelities, his indecisiveness.

Yet, his ability to survive these scandals and restore his image will give a true testament of how politically cunning and brilliant he really is.

While marriage breakdowns seldom ruin political careers, the separation has proved to be an enormous distraction for Harvest House, which has been in a constant state of crisis management and damage control.

Comments (7)

Tsvangirayi should fire his advisors and the whole of his publicity department.They are useless.He should hire a professional public relations consultant.He should stop this nonsense of going to the Press with his Private life.

Guranyanga - 5 January 2014

Bro Morgan live this woman alone she looks like a sellout and gold digger .I sense death ,never force her let her go. Great leaders have done that Madiba did that and he never lost his image you are great man we love you .Come thick and thin we will follow you.

Dibulaanyika - 5 January 2014

@Guranyanga ..Yu have a point. Looks like there some within his inner circle who enjoy riding on his Trade Unionism when in fact they despise him as a leader. How can an aspiring Head of State threaten traditional Chiefs? How can the same leader mistake the German flag for a Zimbabwean one? Apa vana Tamborinyoka naWananchi vanosekera mubhachi!

Don Wezhira - 6 January 2014

your article is misleading, check your records Cde Journalist, Lorcadia's bid to stop the wedding was not thrown out it was actually upheld by the court, no wonder why there was no signing at the 'mock' wedding ceremony held in Umwinsdale, Lorcadia's lawyers managed to convince the courts that Save was customarily married to Lorcadia, to this day Save and Eliza do not have a formal wedding and are just customarily married, the gist of your article however makes sense, guess he just has to step down because isu tiri close to him tisu takutonyara manje

Ngwena - 6 January 2014

Elizabeth is more cunning than Tsvangison. On separation, she has dashed Piladelphia to secure the house for herself. She is banking on Tsvangirai's reluctance to leave the Gvt House. When he is finally evicted from Highlands after failing to pay the asking price, he will be homeless. In between,he will be faced with other political battles and he is likely to find solace in another woman and the cycle continues. I feel sorry for him.

alexio - 6 January 2014

It is not my place to comment on the ex PM's love life but I am inclined to go along with Guranyanga..there is an urgent need by the ex PM and his party to find professional PR firm. Young Luke has sterling job but he can only do so much..a professional PR firm will provide invaluable to both Luke and Mr. Tsvangirayi..If no such firm is not available in the land, he could try and shop for one across the border..they are a penny a dozen down there..and good ones too!

gutter poet - 6 January 2014


Real - 7 January 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.