HARARE – Morgan Tsvangirai’s ex-wife Locadia Karimatsenga paid her last respects to the late former prime minister and leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party on Thursday.
Clad in black, Locadia — who is now an apostle at the Nation of Glory Ministries in South Africa — described Tsvangirai’s death as a personal loss and a blow for young people who looked up to him as their role model and leader.
A former trade unionist, Tsvangirai was the face of Zimbabwe’s democracy struggle against the repressive rule of then-president Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.
A few months before his passing on, when Mugabe was ousted in a military intervention and replaced by Emmerson Mnangagwa as president, Tsvangirai urged the new government to create a conducive environment for holding credible, free and fair elections this year.
Since forming the MDC in 1999, Tsvangirai led it in numerous elections. Zanu PF and Zimbabwe’s military responded with waves of violence against his supporters.
At the peak of the former prime minister’s battle with cancer of the colon, Locadia revealed she had totally forgiven Tsvangirai for everything she held against him and had been praying that he gets back to full fitness.
“I am deeply hurt by Morgan’s death,” Locadia told the Daily News after she paid her last respects to the former trade unionist’s mother in South Africa at the home of Tsvangirai’s son Edwin.
“I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and all those across the world whose lives were touched by his unfettered resilience.
“It’s the end of an era, but certainly not an end of his legacy. I pray that the MDC leaders come together and stop quarrelling among themselves. That is what Morgan would have wanted,” she said.
Asked what her view was regarding the fracas between her ex’s wife Elizabeth and Tsvangirai’s family, Locadia was cautious.
“It’s something I am not privy to, but if there is any hostility, I urge unity,” she said.
Locadia and Tsvangirai became the subject of frenzied media coverage in November 2011 after she wed Tsvangirai for a hefty bride price at a private ceremony in Mazowe.
The marriage did not last the distance after Tsvangirai sensationally claimed that he had “lost confidence” in the relationship. She later made an application to the courts seeking to stop his wedding with Elizabeth.
The relationship acrimoniously ended in 2012, but she told the Daily News last year that any differences she may have had with the MDC leader was water under the bridge.
Besides church, Locadia is also involved in philanthropy in the densely-populated township of Diepsloot.