Lifestyle & Belief

Zimbabwe PM fined cows, sheep and cotton for breaking wedding tradition


Zimbabwe PM Morgan Tsvangirai was fined for arranging a wedding in November, considered bad luck in the Shona tribe.



Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai faces a fine after trying to have a wedding in November, a cultural taboo, the BBC reported.

Tsvangirai has to cough up two cows, two sheep and 10 yards of cotton cloth, ordered by a traditional court. Tsvangirai was scheduled to be married in November to local businesswoman, Locadia Tembo, but called off the arrangement after 12 days, blaming it on interference from his political enemies, the Guardian reported.

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Tsvangirai paid the bride price in November for Tembo, which was $36,000 and 15 cattle to his in-laws, the Associated Press reported. However, this broke the cultural taboo, which deems November as a “sacred” period in ancient folklore by Zimbabwe’s majority Shona tribe, and many believe it brings bad luck, the Guardian reported. Tsvangirai is a member of the Shona tribe.

The fine was imposed by a traditional African chief. "We gave him 30 days to pay and if he doesn't, we will send debt collectors after him and attach whatever we can,” said the chief, the BBC reported.

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Tembo was also fined two cows, two sheep and a goat for accepting the offer, the AP reported.

Tsvangirai, 59, lost his first wife in a car crash in 2009. He announced his latest relationship is over, saying it has been forever damaged after it was “hijacked” by political opponents, the Guardian reported. Tembo is the sister of an MP in Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.