Mugabe asks leaders to keep off mistresses

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has warned local officials against keeping mistresses, arguing the practice that is "not good to nation building".

   Mugabe told the third Zimbabwe Local Government Association biennial conference that he receives continuous reports of various national leaders lavishing their mistresses with expensive gifts such as vehicles and houses, the state-controlled the Sunday Mail reported.
   "When you cheat, people will not trust you, especially when the position you hold is an economic one. They will think you are abusing their money," he said.
   The 89-year-old Zimbabwean leader said the trend of men keeping mistresses, commonly known in Zimbabwe as "small houses," is to blame for the country's rising divorce rate. “Children will also suffer from the men's loss of moral,” he added.
   There are two types of marriages legally recognized in Zimbabwe -- the Marriages Act Chapter 5:11, which is monogamous, and the registered customary union, covered under the Customary Marriages Act Chapter 5:07, which recognizes man having more than one women partners.
   But the government has been urging a shift from the customary marriage to monogamous marriage to avoid disputes and provide better upbringing environment for the children.
   Mugabe's "morality call" is also seen as an attack on his arch- rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was embroiled in a relationship scandal last year when he tried to remarry. The 60- year-old former opposition leader's first wife was killed in a road accident in 2009. Two women filed civil cases to court blocking Tsvangirai's marriage last year, alleging they are already "married" to the prime minister.
   Mugabe and Tsvangirai were forced into a coalition government in the wake of the last disputed polls in 2008. (Xinhua)