MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s embattled wife Elizabeth Macheka has approached the Zanu PF government seeking protection from MDC-T members after walking out on her marriage with their party president, the Zimbabwe Independent can reveal.
Herbert Moyo/Elias Mambo
Sources close to the development said Macheka, who reportedly deserted Tsvangirai a month ago, approached the army, police and Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), seeking protection from her “enemies within the MDC-T” who feel she deserted their leader at a time he needed her most.
“Elizabeth claims she is living in fear of being attacked by those loyal to Tsvangirai and has requested a bodyguard,” said a top security sector official.
“She fears that MDC-T party activists could attack her for embarrassing their leader through the breakdown of their marriage which has become cannon fodder for the local and international media.
“In the past few weeks, she has met with different people in the security system including police, CIO and the army, to request their assistance in securing a bodyguard.”
Another source close to the meetings said Macheka needed the bodyguard because she does a lot of travelling to and from her farm in Mazowe, where she is running a poultry project and farming maize. She visits the farm daily.
“She has a thriving poultry project in Mazowe where she travels to everyday; so she is afraid of going there alone,” the source said.
“The talks are on-going and the security sector is giving the issue serious thought.”
However, Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka dismissed the allegations saying marriage issues are private.
“That one is a private issue and the (MDC-T) president (Tsvangirai) is dealing with it in a dignified and mature manner. The issue cannot, however, subordinate the bigger crisis that the country is facing at the moment,” Tamborinyoka said.
Tsvangirai’s marriage to Macheka has always been steeped in controversy, not just because of her Zanu PF links as she is the daughter of Joseph Macheka, a Zanu PF central committee member, but also because she was once married to an Airforce of Zimbabwe officer Mabasa Guma who died in a car accident along the Harare-Bulawayo road some 10 years ago.
Her marriage to Tsvangirai was met with resistance and disapproval from sections of the MDC-T as some women in the party were said to have preferred Lorcadia Karimatsenga who Tsvangirai dumped for Macheka amid claims she was pregnant with his twins which she later miscarried.
Speculation about the marital woes mounted soon after Tsvangirai lost to President Robert Mugabe when Macheka left the country for South Africa.
Shortly after, the public media ran a story in August under the headline Tsvangirai’s Wife Love Saga Deepens purporting to reveal salacious details of Macheka’s extra-marital affair with Kennedy Ngirazi with whom she is said to have a child.
Another source said contrary to reports that she left their shared Highlands home last month, Macheka actually moved to Borrowdale on September 26 last year.
Tsvangirai recently admitted to the media that their marriage was on the rocks although he still harbours hopes it could be salvaged.
However, the source said Macheka turned down Tsvangirai’s request to resolve the issue at a family meeting last week on Wednesday.
“Macheka has refused to resolve the issue and she even boycotted a family meeting last Wednesday with the Tsvangirai family which was held with the aim of helping the two to iron out their differences,” sources said.
Macheka’s cellphone was not reachable when this newspaper tried to contact her on Wednesday and Thursday.