The heat is over. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has settled his bill with his traditional wife Locardia Karimatsenga. But one question remains unanswered. What was Locardia’s maintenance claim based on?
Locardia said she needed $15 000 a month to maintain the lifestyle she was used to. If she had been enjoying this type of lifestyle with Tsvangirai, whose salary is supposed to be about $3 000 a month, where was the couple getting the balance?
Surely Locardia’s claim could not have been out of spite because she was not seeking divorce with Tsvangirai but just wanted to remain the senior wife.
This meant that Tsvangirai was supposed to have enough money to look after his second wife after paying Locardia her dues.
According to Locardia the $15 000 was broken down as follows:
- $3 000 will be for rent,
- $4 000 for groceries,
- $1 500 for clothing allowance,
- $500 for electricity,
- $1 200 for telephone,
- $500 for maid,
- $300 for gardener,
- $1 000 for motor vehicle and fuel,
- $700 for medical aid,
- $250 for water,
- $1 700 for hair and beauty and
- $350 for a driver.
Granted Locardia was not paid this amount, but was she dreaming the figures up, or perhaps this is the type of life our leaders are living?
Only a year ago, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions published salaries and benefits of top executives in the country. They got nowhere close to what Locardia wanted.
Even managing directors of top companies did not get more than $1 000 for their phone allowances.
Their medical aid was around $450 and they got only 350 litres of fuel a month.
The maximum housing allowance they could get was $2 500.
The media has tried to defend Tsvangirai arguing that he has no other income besides his government salary. If this were true, how then could he afford to give such a good life to Locardia and at the same time be able to take his South African girlfriend Nosipho Shilubane for romantic trips to Seychelles, Singapore and Botswana?
Could it be that she was lying?