By Farayi Machamire
Despite their acrimonious break-up about five years ago, Morgan Tsvangirai’s former lover Locadia Karimatsenga no longer bears any grudges against the former prime minister and, in fact, now yearns to see the MDC leader back to full fitness, the Daily News can exclusively report.
Opening up for the first time on her much-publicised relationship with Tsvangirai which ended in 2012, Karimatsenga revealed that she has totally forgiven the ailing former trade unionist for everything she held against him, adding that any differences she may have had with the MDC leader were now water under the bridge.
Now a woman of cloth at Nation of Glory Ministries, based in neighbouring South Africa, Karimatsenga is not the easiest of persons to track down for an interview.
And even after granting the Daily News an exclusive interview, she was quick to express her fears over being misconstrued that she was still “interested in Morgan” when in fact “I have long moved on (with my life)”.
“I am praying for him,” she says of the MDC leader, who recently returned home after a month’s health sabbatical in South Africa.
Tsvangirai was diagnosed with cancer of the colon around mid last year and has been undergoing treatment in South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised economy.
Karimatsenga disclosed during the interview that aides of the former prime minister came to her residence in South Africa with a request that she prays for the MDC leader.
“I am an apostle. It’s my duty to pray for anyone who asks me to pray for them. His aides came to my house and asked that I pray for him of which I did. And I will continue doing so,” she revealed.
Karimatsenga became the subject of frenzied media coverage in November 2011 after she wedded 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, further saying there was “an underhand and active political hand” that had taken over the process.
According to Tsvangirai, everything had been choreographed “to inflict maximum damage on my person and character for political gain”.
“This has caused me to have serious misgivings as to whether this will be ‘a perfect union’.”
He said back then that he was “a respected family man who owned up to his responsibility by following cultural and traditional procedures” and that in the process he realised he could have done things differently.
“Having been happily married for 31 years, I also realised that sometimes when you are searching for a partner — especially after losing your wife whom you so dearly loved — there are many stakeholders in the process some of whom have their own ulterior intentions and agendas.”
Tsvangirai’s wife, Susan, had died at the age of 50 in 2009 in a tragic car accident along the Harare-Masvingo road.
With his relationship with Karimatsenga having hit the rocks, the MDC leader went on to announce his wedding plans with his current wife Elizabeth Macheka.
Karimatsenga had maintained back then that despite all she had been accused of, she was still in love with Tsvangirai and later made an application to the courts seeking the stoppage of Tsvangirai and Macheka’s wedding.
The magistrates’ court ruled that Tsvangirai could not tie the knot with Macheka as he was traditionally married to the property broker, a judgment that was upheld by the High Court with the pair later settling for an out-of-court settlement.
It is an episode Karimatsenga does not want to talk much about.
“It’s just that I have a name that went through a lot but I prefer to live a low-key life. I would rather focus on my faith than my past.
“From the time I was born, I have always been a follower of Jesus Christ. Those who know me will tell you I have always been very a prayerful someone. I am not saying I am a saint but I have had this passion for a very long time, it is only coming to fruition now because God’s time is the best time.”
Turning to her ministry, she declined to be called a “prophet” but just a child of God with the burning passion to win over souls to “God’s kingdom”.
On how her church started, she said:
“I started doing home meetings where a few Christians came together but we ended up meeting in my house more. We had room, I just had one child, so we had a home cell group where we studied the word of God and seeking guidance from God. And then from there, we decided we should make this bigger so that we can help many other people.”
Besides church, Karimatsenga is also involved in philanthropy in the densely-populated township of Diepsloot, which is inhabited mainly by black people. Daily News