MORGAN Tsvangiraiâ€™s marriage was in crisis last night after bombshell revelations that his wife, Elizabeth Macheka, cheated on him just months after their marriage last September.
The Prime Ministerâ€™s 36-year-old wife rekindled an old affair with a married man, Kennedy Ngirazi, whom she referred to as â€œsweetieâ€� in e-mails and arranged secret trips with him to Cape Town.
And just a day after the July 31 elections, Liz â€“ as her associates call her â€“ reportedly flew to Dubai and did not return until August 5 leaving the MDC-T leader to pick up the pieces from a heavy electoral defeat to President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
The shock revelations by the Sunday Mail newspaper will hit Tsvangirai, 61, like a freight train given the trouble he went through to marry Macheka, against the advice of close aides who said she was of questionable character.
Tsvangirai tied the knot with Liz barely months after paying bride price for another woman, Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo, only to dump her 12 days later claiming that pro-Mugabe state security agents had â€œweighed in to force and direct proceedings… which has undermined my confidence in this relationship.â€�
Currently fighting in the courts to annul the election results showing Mugabe winning by a landslide, Tsvangirai finds himself this week battling a more intimate affair â€“ revelations that the woman who said â€˜I doâ€™ barely a year ago has been cheating on him.
The Sunday Mail published several e-mails showing exchanges earlier this year between Liz and Ngirazi, said to be the father of her five-year-old daughter.
On January 21, 2013, at 1801hrs, she emailed Ngirazi: â€œBaba Tashinga â€” What you did on Friday reminds me exactly how you used to treat me, how you used to hurt me, how you used to break my heart. Still I would patiently wait for you, until that day I just decide to give up on us… no stress, itâ€™s just a reminder.â€�
Two days later, on January 23 at 0909hrs, Liz is alleged to have again e-mailed Ngirazi from a Nokia Lumia 920 apparently questioning his commitment to her.
She wrote: â€œWhy ndisingaitwewo good morning, good night. Ndakatsamwa. Asi you are still deciding? Or you havenâ€™t made up your mind. Asi mune confusion. Kasikai ku maker decision Mrehwa.â€�
Ngirazi e-mailed back at 1243hrs, signing off with â€œI love you alwaysâ€�. An excerpt of the e-mail published by the Mail said: â€œGood afternoon my love. You know very well you are always on my mind. Hapana chekumbo decider. My quietness does not mean Iâ€™ve forgotten about you but itâ€™s to keep you safe. You are too delicate to mess up. I love you always.â€�
His e-mail appeared to strike a chord with Mrs Tsvangirai, who excitedly wrote back at 1558hrs: â€œmwa â€” I like the word delicate, wow itâ€™s mesmerising. Uri wangu sweetie.â€�
The Mail said Ngirazi, who has four children with his wife, Denise, also appeared to have facilitated the purchase of two vehicles â€“ a Mercedes Benz S500 and a Range Rover â€“ from South Africa, apparently for Lizâ€™s benefit.
Emails from January 12, 2013, show Liz desperate to force through the acquisition of the Range Rover. She emailed her lover to travel with her to Cape Town.
She wrote to Ngirazi: â€œIâ€™m so sorry to bother you. I think this guy is just buying time for reasons he knows better. He is a car dealer, there is no way he can say he doesnâ€™t sapco document. Iâ€™m very worried, are you free to travel to Cape Town today?â€�
The MDC-T last night claimed the publication of the story was a â€œdiversionâ€� from what it says is a â€œstolen electionâ€�, but a party spokesman batted away questions on whether the e-mails were genuine.
â€œThis is a diversion from the fact that the election was stolen. The MDC is firmly behind its president Morgan Tsvangirai,â€� party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.
A senior aide to the Prime Minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said â€œas far as Iâ€™m aware these allegations are not trueâ€�. He added that the timing of the publication of the claims was an indication that â€œZanu PF realise that their election victory is pyrrhicâ€�.
â€œIf Morgan Tsvangirai is the dead donkey they say he is, why are they still flogging him? They are gripped by fear, their victory is hollow and they know it,â€� the aide said.
But another associate of Liz Tsvangirai told New Zimbabwe.com that she would not be denying inappropriate contact with Ngirazi.
â€œWhat Tsvangirai will get is an apology, but Liz will stand her ground because he isnâ€™t much of a saint himself. She has no intention of leaving him and there isnâ€™t much he can do about it either. Their marriage is poisoned for sure, but Tsvangirai also knows the cost of getting out of it now â€“ both financially and politically,â€� the friend said.
Sex and scandal are not new to Tsvangirai. Before his wifeâ€™s death in a car crash in March 2009, he was known to be involved sexually with a woman who lived in Norton and later left for the United Kingdom with his help.
Following his wifeâ€™s death, he had a child from a one-night-stand with a 21-year-old Bulawayo woman, Loreta Nyathi, at the same time as he was having an affair with another married local woman, Aquillina Pamberi.
Just before he married Liz, a South African woman Nozipho Regina Shilubane took him to court seeking to stop the wedding claiming that he had also promised to marry her after they were introduced by her pastor who gave them keys to his Harare home which they used as a love nest.
Shilubane revealed that Tsvangirai insisted on not wearing a condom, backing claims by another UK MDC-T activist who, after a night of passion with the former trade unionist, remembered him telling her: â€œNdikapfeka condom haitombomiri [If I wear a condom it wonâ€™t get up].â€�
The Mail reported on Sunday that Ngiraziâ€™s wife has previously sought a peace order against Liz and the matter is still pending at the High Court.
Liz Tsvangirai is the daughter of former Zanu PF mayor for Chitungwiza Joseph Macheka and was once married to an Air Force commander, Mabasa Guma, who died in a car accident along the Harare-Bulawayo road about nine years ago.