Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was at the weekend fined two cattle and sheep by a traditional chief for marrying in the sacred month of November.
The court hearing, which Mr Tsvangirai boycotted saying it was illegal, was yet another twist in his alleged marriage to Harare businesswoman Locardia Tembo last month.
Mr Luscious Chitsinde, known as Chief Negomo, caused a stir last week when he ordered the PM to appear before his court on the outskirts of Harare on Saturday.
He went on to pass a default judgment against Mr Tsvangirai. The PM’s aides have said the ruling is invalid.
“Our hearing went on well, despite the Prime Minister’s decision to disrespect the court by absconding,” the chief’s assessor, Mr Cairo Mhandu, told the privately owned The Standard newspaper.
Chief Negomo found Tsvangirai guilty and ordered him to pay two cattle, two sheep and a 10-metre white cloth.
On their part, his in-laws were ordered to pay two cattle, two sheep and a goat because they agreed to receive his money during a sacred month.
A spokesman for Mr Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party accused President Robert Mugabe of pushing the chief to embarrass the PM.
“The PM did not attend because we do not recognise the jurisdiction of that chief,” MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said.
“This is a mere political enterprise being spearheaded by Zanu-PF,” he added.