ZIMBABWE – MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s “secret” wife of more than 20 years with whom he sired two children has been unmasked following his failure to settle US$15 227 rental arrears.
The woman whose union with the opposition politician has been known to some in social circles — though remaining pretty much under wraps — is Ms Josephine Chibali. The Sunday Mail got to know her identity after some of her belongings were attached by her landlady — Mrs Patience Matshe — when Mr Tsvangirai failed to settle arrears that accumulated during Ms Chibali’s stay at house number 27 College Road, Alexandra Park, Harare.
Mr Tsvangirai’s spokesman Mr Luke Tamborinyoka denied his boss was customarily married to Ms Chibali but confirmed that the two had a 24- year-old son and a 20-year-old daughter.
“Morgan Tsvangirai takes his responsibilities as a father seriously. Those close to him know that it is a public secret that he has two children with the woman in question and he lives with the two children as any responsible father would do. The girl has completed university and the boy child will complete his degree next year. Morgan Tsvangirai has nothing to do with the debts accrued by private individuals in this country, including the woman in question. Rather than this relentless and needless pursuit of individuals remotely connected to Tsvangirai, The Sunday Mail would do this nation a lot of good if it also in the same vein tells us about domestic and foreign debt of over US$10 billion that this country has failed to pay. It does not make sense to talk about debt of private individuals and then trying to see how these debts can be linked to Tsvangirai.”
However, a close family member who preferred anonymity insisted that Mr Tsvangirai and Ms Chibali have been customarily married for over 20 years, although the woman has remained “reserved” even when the politician’s love scandals rocked the nation in 2012. Ms Chibali could not be reached for comment as efforts to interview her proved fruitless for the past two weeks.
In a letter to Mrs Matshe’s lawyers — Mundia and Mudhara Legal Practitioners — on 4 September, 2015, Ms Chibali confessed that her husband Mr Tsvangirai (61) was responsible for paying the rent at 27 College Road, Alexandra Park.
In part the letter reads; “With regard to this debt which I owe to Mrs Matshe, I would like to state my case. I am customarily married to Morgan Tsvangirai. I was residing in Norton since 1997 to 2009 in June. I moved to Alexandra Park in July 2009.
The owner of the place is Mrs Matshe but my husband asked me to move in and he was responsible for paying the bills. I was paying the bills on time which was a total of US$1 500 per month up to the time my husband was in financial problems. This was after he lost Presidential elections (in 2013).”
Ms Chibali said Mr Tsvangirai made numerous promises to pay the debt but failed to raise the money until Mrs Matshe was forced to attach a Toyota Camry in June 2014.
“She took it (Toyota Camry 2.6) as security on top of the US$1 000 deposit. I tried to sell the car but they refused to release it. We later agreed that they sell it and notify me of the balance. The problem of paying the balance is that my husband with whom I have two kids is failing to raise the money. At the moment my son is no longer going to school because of financial problems and my daughter completed her course by the grace of God. I am not working and Mr Tsvangirai said he was prepared to pay US$300 per month starting from the 1st of October (last Thursday) 2015.”
However, Mrs Matshe would not entertain any of that and obtained a writ of execution against movable and immovable property from the High Court on 17 September, 2015, under case number H.C 10187/14. The writ of execution directed the Sheriff to attach movable property, failure of which a house in Katanga township, Norton was to be attached.
Mrs Matshe’s lawyers Mundia and Mudhara Legal Practitioners declined to comment. Mr Tsvangirai’s failure to pay the rentals for Ms Chibali comes amid reports that the former Prime Minister has fallen on hard times.