Troubled MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday fuelled speculation of deepening troubles within his marriage to Elizabeth Macheka after making a public appearance in Bulawayo without his wedding ring.
Tsvangirai, who is in the city for meetings with members of his party, deepened the mystery when he skirted questions from journalists on why he was not donning his wedding ring during a press conference.
"Very, very observant indeed," Tsvangirai responded. "Is it consequential to the plight of Zimbabweans? Whether Tsvangirai has a ring or not, the people are suffering and for you to concentrate on a ring when people are starving is a totally different priority but anyway thank you for asking." Tsvangirai's union to Macheka has been rocky for some time with reports in February indicating that Elizabeth demanded to be set free from the marriage accusing the MDC-T leader of cheating on her with two women.
In sensational audio tapes obtained by our Harare Bureau, Macheka also accused Tsvangirai of suffering from erectile dysfunction which was preventing them from being intimate since their marriage in 2012. At yesterday's press briefing, the MDC-T leader also exposed his failure to understand President Robert Mugabe's State of the Nation Address, claiming that it did not contain issues around what he termed "equity, land reform, indigenisation and Zim-Asset."
Tsvangirai, undeterred by his ignorance, went on to claim that the President did not make any reference to policy areas except as a cursory reference. "These policies have largely failed to deliver Zimbabwe from the crisis that we're facing," said the MDC-T leader who added that the President ignored critical issues affecting the country including job cuts. Tsvangirai, who had initially said the President did not mention agriculture, said Cde Mugabe's statement that agriculture was going to spearhead growth was a "fallacy."
He said: "There's always avoidance of corruption in this country and yet we know that no one is running any business in this country without any corruption."
Tsvangirai, reeling from the Inclusive Government hangover that ended in 2013, said his party would not "enter into any government of national unity to rescue this country again".
"We can only enter into negotiations with Zanu PF on the basis of how we can restore the legitimacy of government because the last one, as far as we know in 2013, was stolen," he said. Tsvangirai said he would soon be sending a delegation headed by his deputy Thokozani Khupe to Botswana President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, who recently took over from President Mugabe as chairperson of Sadc, to discuss "outstanding issues regarding the resolution of the Zimbabwean chaos."
"The issues are very clear, we need to place on the agenda that we had one year deferment of the Zimbabwean crisis because Mugabe was chairing. We need to go back and say Sadc was given a task to resolve this issue and it hasn't resolved the issue because the dispute is still continuing and the crisis is actually worsening. We need to draw Sadc back to discuss the issue of Zimbabwe not from the perspective of Mugabe chairing but from an independent perspective," he said.
The MDC-T leader, who described Khama as a man committed to democracy and principles of Sadc, suggested that the regional body was hypocritical in implementing its rules. The Sadc elections observer mission endorsed the 2013 harmonised elections describing the polls as free, fair and credible, though Botswana refused to endorse the elections as a state.