FORMER opposition leader, Margaret Dongo, has demanded an investigation into the source of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s alleged six figure pay off to a former lover as he scrambled to end their damaging public spat.
Dongo said the MDC-T leader has only been in government for less than four years and must explain the source of the reported $280,000 to US$300,000 he paid Locardia Karimatsenga to end their relationship.
“As a concerned citizen, I am calling upon the inclusive government to investigate where the Prime Minister is getting the money which he is using to pay lobola and damages to his women,” Dongo said in an interview VOA Thursday.
“If the money is coming from donors, then it’s a pity. Unfortunately for Africa, for Zimbabwe, the international community takes the view that as long as one is fighting (President Robert) Mugabe they deserve to be supported, even if they are corrupt. It’s very unfair.”
Tsvangirai has not commented on reports he paid Karimatsenga the six figure sum after she slapped him with a US$15,000 spousal maintenance claim. Karimatsenga also successfully blocked, in the courts, his bid to marry Elizabeth Macheka, forcing the MDC-T leader to resort to a traditional ceremony.
However, Karimatsenga’s lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, who insisted he does not come cheap, billing at US$1,000 per hour, has helped stoke speculation over the size of the settlement after saying that his client was “very, very happy” with the deal.
“It was quite substantial, I can’t disclose the figure. I can’t tell you the figure but my client is very happy. My client and myself are very happy, especially me,” Samkange told VOA’s Violet Gonda.
But Dongo said the amounts suggested were simply staggering at a time most Zimbabweans, including supporters of Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party, were unemployed and struggling to put food on the table.
“The Prime Minister does not earn that much from government and I am surprised he can afford the sums being mentioned when the country’s economy is struggling,” she said.
“I wonder if he ever imagines how many jobs he could have created with that money for the many unemployed people in this country, including cadres from his own MDC-T party.”
Dongo said Tsvangirai’s position as Prime Minister and MDC-T leader was now untenable following the damaging revelations about his private life and, in particular, his treatment of women.
“I think the MDC-T should ask Tsvangirai to step down because he has been an embarrassment not only to the party but to the country as a whole. There are many brilliant leaders in the MDC-T who can do the job better.” She said.
“His claim that other political leaders also have multiple relationships is not acceptable. We expect him to be different. And he cannot blame his rivals for this mess because Zanu PF did not ask him to sleep with these women.
“In actual fact, the Prime Minister has become a prostitute as far as I am concerned because it is not just one woman we are talking about. He is now married to two women under customary law … and there are many others who were also abused and abandoned, even after falling pregnant.”