HARARE – Amid spirited efforts to avert an implosion in the MDC party resulting from the fallout over his decision to forge an alliance with seven other opposition leaders, former trade unionist Morgan Tsvangirai has spoken for the first time on claims that he fathered a child with a Bulawayo woman, the Daily News can report.
Reports over the weekend suggested that the MDC leader who is not new to such controversy impregnated a Bulawayo woman, Nobuhle Marylin Ndiweni, 36, who is said to have given birth to a baby boy at Mater Dei Hospital last month.
But speaking to the Daily News yesterday through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, Tsvangirai rubbished the claims as “hogwash”, saying they were part of a smear campaign meant to tarnish his image as the country hurtles towards the 2018 elections.
“I will not dignify hogwash. We are going to see more of this hogwash ahead of the 2018 elections. The agenda is very clear; they want to dent the brand Morgan. We have a grand coalition to focus on, not this nonsense. If you check the story, the woman allegedly involved is also shocked,” said Tamborinyoka.
Ndiweni, who is reported to be an MDC card-carrying member, reportedly gave birth to a baby boy on July 27, 2017 under birth record number BC 0085691.
The woman, who allegedly has a teenage child from her previous relationship, claimed Tsvangirai was scheduled to visit his alleged child last week but failed to do so after his party programme in the city, which he was also meant to attend, was cancelled, the State-run Sunday News reported.
The report further claimed that Tsvangirai, who is expected in Bulawayo on Saturday this week to appraise his supporters on the recently formed MDC Alliance, met Ndiweni through a senior female member of the party.
Ndiweni reportedly joined MDC in 2000 as an ordinary card-carrying member before she relocated to South Africa.
She returned to the country and reportedly joined the smaller MDC party led by Welshman Ncube before she crossed the floor back to Tsvangirai.
The State media further said that Tsvangirai has also allegedly built a fowl run for Ndiweni at her parents’ house in Nketa 9.
However, Ndiweni staunchly denied being in a relationship with the veteran MDC leader and giving birth to Tsvangirai’s child.
“What are you talking about? I don’t know anything about what you are saying. I never gave birth and I have never been involved with him (Tsvangirai),” the woman said.
Tsvangirai wed Elizabeth Macheka in September 2012.
The former prime minister’s wedding was dogged by court cases, which denied him permission to marry widow Macheka, now 40, in either a civil or traditional “customary” ceremony.
A customary ceremony went ahead regardless in front of hundreds of his supporters and was blessed by a Catholic priest.
Tsvangirai’s first wife, Susan, died in a car crash in 2009 shortly after Zimbabwe’s inclusive government was sworn into power.
Ahead of the wedding, businesswomen Locadia Karimatsenga had applied to the Magistrate’s Courts to have Tsvangirai’s August 27, 2012 marriage licence cancelled.
She claimed that Tsvangirai, 65, paid a bride price to her relatives in 2011 and that she was pregnant with his child, but later miscarried.
After his wedding, Tsvangirai — facing a public relations nightmare of immeasurable magnitude — tendered a rare apology from a top political figure in Zimbabwe, saying he was sorry about his flings with several women before he settled for the imposing Macheka.
He had been accused of being in sexual relationships with a South African woman Nosipho Regina Shilubane and another Bulawayo woman Loreta Nyathi.
He apologised at an MDC anniversary in 2012 in the face of growing criticism among even close MDC allies who were pressing for a public reprimand of his conduct.
“I know the road I travelled to make this choice has been rough and has been filled with all sorts of trouble, but I am glad I eventually made my choice,” Tsvangirai told 20 000 supporters at the anniversary, referring to his wedding with Macheka.
His words drew wild praise from MDC delegates to the anniversary.
“I had no intention of hurting anyone,” he said. “It was a genuine search. I want to apologise to anyone who has been hurt.”
He said he could not disagree with anyone else who wants to be critical of what he has already acknowledged as inappropriate behaviour. Tsvangirai made a calculated decision to use the phrase “I’m sorry”.
He used the plain language of apology twice, that he had made a bad mistake that it was indefensible, and he was sorry about it. – Daily News