- Southern Africa
- Tradition - Unusual
Zimbabwe: A new wife for Tsvangirai?
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai seems to have found new love in the person of his late wife’s sister- Leah Mhundwa.
In line with his native Shona’s discredited tradition of ‘wife inheriting”, a ceremony was held, Sunday, at Tsvangirai’s rural home in Buhera where he was introduced to his new “wife”.
But the premier’s spokesman, a former disc jockey, James Maridadi, says this is all "false and malicious. "It is true that a ceremony was held at the weekend, but that ceremony is not about Tsvangirai getting a wife... In Shona tradition, one year after the death of a spouse there is a process of choosing a caretaker mother.”
He added that the rites ceremony is in keeping with Zimbabwean traditions which put a spouse’s official mourning period at a year during which one may not commit to a matrimonial relationship.
Maridadi also said that "the ceremony is a celebration of a spouse’s commitment of faith to their departed soul-mate and as such is highly regarded."
Under the custom, Mhundwa is expected to “take care”of Tsvangirai and his six children — Edwin, Garikai, Vimbai, Rumbidzai and twins Milcent and Vincent.
Little is known about Mhundwa.
According to reports, Mhundwa is also expected to accompany Tsvangirai to official state events. This has led to many analysts speculating that it is likely she may move into his Strathaven residence.
The Prime Minister’s wife of 31 years was killed in a car crash on March 6 last year in which he was also slightly hurt.
Susan Tsvangirai was traveling with her husband south of Harare when their vehicle collided with a freight lorry that had crossed into their lane. The lorry side-swiped the 4x4 vehicle in which the Tsvangirais were traveling, causing it to roll over three times.