According to Nehanda Radio, a Bindura magistrate earlier this week set aside the ruling by Chief Luscious Chitsinde Negomo which found Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai guilty of flouting marriage laws.

The chief accuses Tsvangirai of violating traditional marriage norms which prohibit the undertaking of marriage formalities in November. As the case drags on, it is the issue of the forbidden month of November that is interesting in the whole drama.

Tsvangirai’s marriage to Ms. Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo that took place last November is indeed an abomination in a country where traditional values are still deep-rooted and long-lasting. Numerous young couples now marry in November — a sacred month according to ancestral traditions of this country. To them, there is nothing unusual in doing so. Whereas to the older generation the breaking of traditional practices is one of the reasons why Zimbabwe is going through difficult and turbulent times politically and economically.

November in the Shona language is Mbudzi (goat), and it is the time when people start preparations for the all-important agricultural season. Traditionalist Admore Chahwanda said that Zimbabwe is losing its direction on religion as it embraces Christianity, while sticking to traditional religious practices. “We are now in a state of confusion and marrying in November is something that has consequences on people. If people marry in November then the marriage would be a problem. I think we need to revise our customs and traditions and embrace that which is good and maintain what makes us a unique people,” said Chahwanda.

Chief Negomo stated that Prime Minister was obliged to give two heads of cattle, two sheep, 10 m of white cloth and a bowl of snuff to appease the spirits. He was right to do so, according to traditionalists who were interviewed by this writer. “Its unfortunate that the case became political but the truth of the matter is that when a person breaks the law then he should be fined. Our leaders should lead by example and demonstrate to the people that they also respect traditional values,” said Sekuru Manatse from Hatfield in Harare.

And, indeed, to those who are cynical, it is tricky to marry in November — Tsvangirai has already parted ways with Locadia according to newspaper reports. Plus he recently told Zimbabwe that he has found a new partner.

There are so many days that are sacred in Zimbabwe. For instance, almost everywhere across Zimbabwe, a day is set aside during the week when labouring in the fields is suspended. Those who break that day are punished, as working on that day is believed to bring ill fortune on the whole community. This day is known as Chisi

But today many people have forgotten that such days are sacred.

A Bindura magistrate has set aside the ruling by Chief Luscious Chitsinde Negomo which found Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai guilty of flouting marriage laws.