Takunda Maodza Harare Bureau
MORGAN Tsvangirai’s wife, Elizabeth, has demanded to be “set free” from her marriage to the MDC-T leader after accusing him of cheating on her with two women.In sensational audio tapes obtained by our sister paper The Herald, Elizabeth, nee Macheka, also accuses the former Prime Minister of suffering from erectile dysfunction which has prevented them from being intimate since their marriage in 2012.
Macheka, close sources say, had accepted the problem quietly but is livid that Tsvangirai is cheating on her with two other women – Leah Mhundwa, and a Bulawayo woman only named as Nobuhle.
Mhundwa is the younger sister to Tsvangirai’s late wife, Susan, who died in a car accident in March 2009.
So volatile is the relationship between Tsvangirai and Macheka that at times they exchange blows.
Tsvangirai blames Macheka for the bedroom woes. He has told her that he does not experience the same problem when he sleeps with other women.
The tapes reveal that on one occasion, Tsvangirai told Macheka that he had not experienced erectile dysfunction after romping with Nobuhle, sparking a huge row.
Nobuhle was in Harare recently and spent three days with Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai and Macheka have not been living together for months.
Tsvangirai briefly stayed with Macheka at their home in Borrowdale but was chucked out after his wife discovered he was cheating on her with Nobuhle and other women. The MDC-T leader is now staying at the Highlands government house bought and upgraded for him at a cost of $3 million during his stint as Prime Minister, which ended in July 2013.
Macheka rejects Tsvangirai’s claims she is the cause of his sexual failings, and feels betrayed by the MDC-T leader who is “ungrateful” that she has stuck with him even when there is no fire in their bedroom.
Macheka, in meetings with family members, told how Nobuhle and other women call Tsvangirai in the middle of the night while she is sleeping besides him. The rows sparked by the phone calls usually degenerate into fist-fights.
After reports of a split emerged last year, Tsvangirai invited a newspaper to their Highlands home and disputed a report by our sister paper, The Herald, that they were on separation.
At one time, Tsvangirai sent Macheka back to her parents as he believed it was her who brought him the misfortune.
He has also gone as far as Nigeria where he sought spiritual healing from Prophet TB Joshua without success.
Close relatives have held marathon meetings to resolve the impasse between Tsvangirai and Macheka.
In one meeting, held in line with Shona culture, Tsvangirai and Macheka met with his nephew during which she poured her heart out about their problems.
And last Thursday, the Machekas summoned Tsvangirai and his relatives to a meeting after Elizabeth told her parents that she could not continue living alone.
“She also highlighted that she has never been intimate with Tsvangirai since their marriage and wants to move on with her life,” a source said.
Macheka wanted Tsvangirai “to set her free”.
“She told relatives that if Tsvangirai believes that she was the source of his bedroom problems, then he must set her free,” the source said.
Yesterday, Tsvangirai and his wife claimed all was well with them. “We’re staying together. We’re happy. We’ve no problems at all,” claimed Macheka.
Tsvangirai, through his spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said: “We can understand the fixation that The Herald has with the brand and person of Morgan Tsvangirai. The truth of the matter is that there’s bliss in their marriage. Mr and Mrs Tsvangirai are at No 45 Kew Drive, Highlands.
“We understand the incessant pursuit and concoction of stories around the life and marriage of Morgan Tsvangirai for political reasons.”
Earlier, Tamborinyoka had tried to persuade this reporter to reveal the source of the story and the evidence.
Tsvangirai married Elizabeth at a lavish garden wedding in 2012, just months after his traditional marriage to Locardia Karimatsenga collapsed farcically – he claiming “the marriage has been hijacked and there is an apparent active political hand that’s now driving the processes.”
He later paid Karimatsenga over $200,000 as a divorce settlement.
Since his wife’s death, the 63-year-old Tsvangirai has been linked to a string of women including South African, Nosipho Regina Shilubane, Bulawayo socialite Aquilina Kayidza Pamberi and Loreta Nyathi, with whom he had a child when she was aged just 23.