Wednesday, April 04, 2012
by Staff Reporter
A DECISION by a chief to fine Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for breaking a wedding taboo by marrying in November is set to be reviewed by the High Court, his lawyer said. Tsvangirai married lover Lorcadia Karimatsenga Tembo during a traditional ceremony in Chinhoyi on November 22 last year.
He reportedly shelled out US$36,000 and 10 cows, although he announced he was separating from the commodity trader just 24 hours later. In Shona culture, it is feared that a November wedding will bring a couple bad luck.
Chief Negomo, under whose jurisdiction the wedding took place, convened a traditional court and fined the Prime Minister two cattle, two sheep, a 10-metre-long piece of cloth and a ball of snuff.
Tsvangirai has refused to pay the fine, insisting that he never married Tembo. He has also accused the Chief of doing the bidding of his political rivals in a bid to embarrass him.
The chief’s decision was confirmed by a Bindura magistrate, but it has emerged that a more senior magistrate inexplicably heard the same matter and reached a different conclusion.
Court officials admit this was a mistake, as it would amount to the second magistrate sitting as an appeal court judge.
Now the Mashonaland Central provincial magistrate Fellex Mawadze has exercised his powers to refer the matter to the High Court to confirm or set aside the chief’s order.
Tsvangirai’s lawyer Selby Hwacha said: “In the High Court matter, we are mere spectators and we are not the ones that took the matter up.”
Justice Bharat Patel will make the determination at the Harare High Court.