Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was forced to defend himself today after photos of him relaxing with a group of young women were circulated on social media.
Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, said the pictures – which show him laughing outdoors with five trendily-dressed young women – merely showed him with a “group of supporters”.
It proved that he was “accessible” to Zimbabweans, the opposition leader tweeted.
His opponents, however, seized on the pictures to revive memories of Tsvangirai’s messy love life ahead of his marriage to second wife, Elizabeth Macheka, in 2012. His first wife, Susan, was killed in a car accident in 2009.
The photos were reportedly taken at a party meeting in the central city of Gweru on Sunday.
Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo said on Twitter today hthat the former prime minister had “serious zip governance challenges”.
The official Herald newspaper claimed that in one photo, Tsvangirai was “apparently watching the posterior of one of the women”.
But the MDC leader tweeted: “I see a group of happy ladies who are MDC supporters and obviously delighted to take a pic with their president, what do you see?”
In another tweet, he said: “I can’t deny our supporters selfies and photos, we are a family.”
Supporters of Tsvangirai rushed to his defence, with @AbbieRuramai tweeting, “What’s the big deal? [President Robert ] Mugabe’s photos/videos surrounded by obscenely gyrating Zanu-PF women are all over social media.”
But others sounded a note of caution, suggesting the opposition leader should not have responded to the furore.
Prominent Zimbabwean journalist @nqabamatshazi tweeted: “My thoughts on the Tsvangirai pics, I think he should’ve ignored story, his response was unnecessary many thought pics were photoshopped.”
Tsvangirai was prime minister in a coalition government from 2009-13. He and his party claimed Mugabe and Zanu-PF had rigged their way to victory in almost every election since the MDC was founded in 1999.- News 24