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Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Saturday
circumvented a court ruling blocking his wedding after an ex-lover tried to
stop the union.
Tsvangirai, 60, dressed in a black suit and Elizabeth
Macheka, 35, in a white gown exchanged rings before hundreds of guests at a
plush Harare wedding venue overlooking a flowing river.

The premier, whose wife of 31 years, Susan, was killed in a car accident in
March 2009, had originally planned his marriage under the country’s monogamous
laws.

But Tsvangirai decided to get round the court order
resulting in the cancellation of his marriage licence by staging the nuptials
under the alternative customary law that allows a man to have as many wives as
he wants.
The court ruling on Friday was ex-lover Locardia
Karimatsenga Tembo’s second attempt to block the marriage after a high court
earlier in the week threw out her case on grounds that she failed to prove she
was the premier’s wife.
But she went to a lower court armed with video evidence of
the traditional marriage ceremony during which Tsvangirai’s emissaries were
shown paying the bride price on his behalf.
An urgent appeal lodged by Tsvangirai early on Saturday at
the high court to overturn the magistrate’s ruling was dismissed, forcing him
to marry under a different law or cancel the ceremony.
Tsvangirai ended his union with Tembo last year, saying the
relationship had been “irretrievably damaged” to the point where marriage had
become “inconceivable”.
The magistrate’s court on Thursday dismissed a similar case
by a South African woman who claimed the premier promised to marry her.
“Our celebration is a customary one…. We still have to
celebrate (a monogamous marriage) when the climate is clear,” said the Catholic
priest who conducted the ceremony.
Tsvangirai ended his union with Tembo last year, saying the
relationship had been “irretrievably damaged” to the point where marriage had
become “inconceivable.”
The pair did not sign a register recording the marriage as
monogamous, as they had wished.
A senior officer from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) party told AFP the “wedding… is different from the one that was
denied by the courts”.
Macheka is the daughter of a senior member of President
Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party which was forced into a compromise coalition
government with Tsvangirai’s MDC after election chaos in 2008.
But Mugabe boycotted the ceremony which was attended by
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and the Prime Minister of Swaziland
Barnabas Dlamini.
A pipe band from one of Harare’s top private schools played
as Tsvangirai walked on a white carpet into the wedding ceremony, while a
violinist played ‘here comes the bride” for Macheka.
A banquet reception was due to be held at Harare’s
25,000-seater Glamis Stadium.
Tsvangirai’s first wife died just weeks after he went into a
unity government with his long-time rival Mugabe following failed elections in
2008.

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