Tsvangirai's New Girlfriend Causes MDC Split
This is Locadia Tembo, who is now apparently Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's girlfriend. Her relationship with the Prime Minister, who heads Zimbabwe's opposition, the MDC-Tsvangirai, which is in a coalition government with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF, has caused a rift in the opposition party, with senior figures alleging that she may be part of a CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) plot to infiltrate the Prime Minister's party. This is because she a sister to ZANU PF's MP for Goromonzi, a rural constituencyHarare, Zimbabwe, 03 June 2010Discontent within the Executive of the MDC has apparently reached such high levels now that there is a real risk of a split being caused as a result of a relationship the Prime Minister and leader of the MDC-T, Morgan Tsvangirai, has started with a woman who allegedly has strong links to the the party of President Robert Mugabe, ZANU PF.
Tsvangirai is said to be in a relationship with Locadia Tembo, whose brother-in-law is currently deputy ambassador to another woman linked to Morgan Tsvangirai, Jacqueline Zwambila, who is Zimbabwe's ambassador to Australia.
The Standard newspaper of Zimbabwe confirms this story in its current issue, quoting "close relatives and friends"of the Prime Minister.
But senior figures in the MDC-T are dead set against the relationship because the woman is "suspect", since she is the blood sister to Beatrice Nyamupinga, the ZANU PF Member of Parliament for Goromonzi. Nyamupinga's husband is current Deputy Ambassador to Jacqueline Zwambila of the MDC-T in Australia.
Tembo, the woman now alleged to be Tsvangirai's new sweetheart, lives in Greendale and is building in Greystone Park. She is described by the Standard a "wealthy"woman.
Executives in the MDC-T are adamant that the meeting between Tsvangirai and Tembo at OR Tambo International Airport (former Johannesburg International Airport) was a CIO plot to compromise Tsvangirai and insist that he should not marry the woman because of this.
Tsvangirai is reportedly insistent that he will continue with the relationship although, of course, no one, except perhaps Tsvangirai himself, can say for sure whether he will marry Tembo.
The relationship is being used in teh turf war within the MDC-T, with even grassroots structures being roped into the rift. Footsoldiers of the MDC-T are being told by camps vying to oust Tsvangirai that the Prime Minister has gone soft on Mugabe and ZANU PF and will no longer fight for the ordinary man in the street. The relationship with Tembo is being bandied about as proof that the PM has now given up on fighting Mugabe for power.
(Which reminds me: during that clash I reported between Dr Simba Makoni and Deputy Minister Jamieson Timba, Makoni berated the parties in the Inclusive Government for "fighting for power, command and control"while ignoring the suffering of Zimbabweans. Timba responded to this by saying that the purpose of a political party was to gain power and that if Makoni did want to gain power, then he had "no business being in politics". Makoni insisted that he wants to serve and "not to be served.")
Anyway, it appears that the private life of Morgan Tsvangirai is now being used in the succession battle within the MDC-T.
Tsvangirai, of course, unilaterally removed the two-term limit on the MDC-T presidency in the MDC-T constitution some time last year and is now intent on staying on at the head of the MDC until Kingdom Come, which is what has led to swords being unsheathed against him by senior figures within his party.
There is even now a public split of sorts, with an outfit calling itself the MDC 99 openly de-campaigning the Prime Minister and his "kitchen cabinet", reviving a charge that dates back to 2004, which led to a split in the MDC and the formation of the MDC now led by Arthur Mutambara.
Tsvangirai has been linked to several women even before the tragic death of his wife last year. But this latest revelation is potentially damaging because of the cross-party nature of it and the suspicion shrouding his alleged new girlfriend.
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