Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has called off his plans to marry businesswoman Locadia Tembo, blaming political opponents and state security agents for exploiting his personal life.
Tsvangirai’s relationship has been the source of much speculation in recent weeks when newspapers began reporting that his “lover” was pregnant and that he had paid her family a bride price of $36,000 and 15 cattle days before annulling plans for a traditional ceremony, according to AFP.
“This relationship has been irretrievably damaged to a point where marriage is now inconceivable,” Tsvangirai said in a statement. “The ‘marriage’ has been hijacked and there is an apparent active political hand that is now driving the processes.”
Tsvangirai said he suspected a “greater and thicker plot” around his circumstances and placed some of the scandal’s blame on Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization.
More from GlobalPost: Top 10 International Political Scandals (PHOTOS)
“State security agents have also weighed in to force and direct proceedings which has resulted in everything regarding this relationship now taking place on camera, with public media journalists in tow.”
Though the prime minister said he recognized that the tangled affair had damaged his reputation, he said the scandal won’t deter him from continuing to serve Zimbabwe, according to Voice of America.
Tsvangirai’s first wife, Susan, died in a car crash in March 2009.