Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has over the past few days been seized with a personal matter that has overshadowed all important national issues.
The premier, who had intended to wed his new lover Elizabeth Macheka yesterday, fought running court battles with his ex, Locardia Karimatsenga, who successfully blocked his white wedding on the grounds they were still customarily married.
Inevitably, these protracted battles and the emergence of a South Africa woman, Nosipho Regina Shilubane, who claimed to be engaged to Tsvangirai, completely distracted the nation from pressing matters such as the drafting of the new constitution.
While officials in the MDC-T party were quick to blame the Central Intelligence Organisation for the fiasco, what emerged out of the drama in court was that Tsvangirai’s love life is a mess that needs urgent clean-up.
After the death of his wife Susan in 2009, Tsvangirai undeniably lowered the guard as he searched for a woman who could take her place. This search for the right partner, which took him up to SA, left him dangerously exposed to all sorts of women, some with questionable backgrounds, morals and motives.
Though it was politically damaging, the cancellation of his wedding to Macheka at Karimatsenga’s instigation, should present Tsvangirai with an opportunity for self-introspection.
The premier should reflect on the mistakes he has made over the past three years and seek to correct them. He must realise that cherry-picking women and casually engaging in unprotected sex is not only retrogressive to the fight against HIV and Aids, but damages his standing as a leader of a political party. Such behaviour is also unbecoming of a Prime Minister.
Ever since he emerged on the political scene as leader of the MDC in 1999, Tsvangirai has been a symbol of hope for millions of Zimbabweans, eager to dislodge President Robert Mugabe from power. His courage in confronting the Zanu PF system has been admired by many, but it is these distractions that may cause his downfall.
It is imperative that Tsvangirai urgently sorts out his personal life and start focusing on important matters such as overseeing the implementation of government policies that improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans.