PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Thursday the late Spanish ambassador to Zimbabwe was his “companion for a long time”, and admitted that he “loved her”, but his spokesman later denied they had an affair.
Ambassador Pilar Fuertes Ferragut, 50, was on holiday in the sea-side town of Walvis Bay, Namibia, when she was involved in a horrific car crash on April 2.
Tsvangirai spoke movingly about Ferragut at a memorial service on Thursday, revealing that his son, Edwin, “collapsed” and sobbed on hearing the news.
“My family was very attached to her. When I told Edwin, my eldest son, that Pilar had tragically died in an accident in Namibia, he collapsed and started crying. I’ve never seen him cry,” said Tsvangirai, who lost his wife, Susan, in a car accident in March 2009.
He added: “That’s how close this woman was to my family. There are very few ambassadors that come to Zimbabwe that I do not like. Pilar was different, I loved her!
“She was the first ambassador to take me to Spain. And I was supposed to receive a human rights award. She was my companion for a long time.”
Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka, asked to clarify what the Prime Minister meant, told New Zimbabwe.com on Friday: “I know journalism is an excitable profession, but you are reading too much into this. The Prime Minister simply meant she was a good friend.”
Ferragut made friends in Zimbabwe’s arts and entertainment industry. Friends recalled how she hosted parties where she would also be the DJ.
Tsvangirai said: “She was a typical Latino, very full of life, very engaging. One thing that I will always remember is that she always had the faith in the future of this country.
“I think she was the ultimate optimist. There are people who leave an imprint in our lives that we will always cherish, she was one.”
Ferragut, who also doubled up as the Spanish envoy to Malawi and Zambia since 2009, is set to be buried in her home town of Valencia.
(additional reporting Sharon Muguwu, Daily News)