FORMER President Rupiah Banda has denied claims that his marriage with Thandiwe is on the rocks and that a divorce is looming.
Recently, Tumfweko exclusively revealed that the veteran politician’s marriage with Thandiwe was on the verge of splitting up following his alleged extra-marital affair with a named Zimbabwean woman based in the United States of America.
The reports claim that although Banda was accompanied by Thandiwe to America where he had taken up a role as a resident lecturer at Boston University earlier this year, the former head of State still got involved with the woman in question.
It has also been claimed that Banda had been patronizing drinking places in the company of the same woman much to the chagrin of Thandiwe.
Banda’s beer drinking problem is said to have started while he was at Sate House but became worse in America.
When Banda returned from America in June, he left his wife behind- a situation that sparked serious rumours about the couple’s alleged growing differences.
At the same time, one of the daily newspapers claimed that Banda had differed with Thandiwe over the disappearance of about US$ 36,000 in his bedroom. This report was however rubbished by the former first family which also demanded a retraction.
The story was however never retracted.
Some other media reports claim that Banda wanted to use the ‘dollar loss saga’ as a scapegoat for divorce but it didn’t work out.
But in an interview, Banda’s administrative secretary Mikatazo Wakumelo refuted the reports.
Said Wakumelo:“ I am not going to waste my time commenting on such foolish innuendoes. We don’t do that.”
“Those stories are false and have no credibility. How can that be true? It’s false,” he added before cutting the line.
Efforts to contact him again and get more information on the matter proved futile as his phone went unanswered.
Thandiwe, 40, married the 75-year-old Banda almost a decade ago. In an interview with BBC Network Africa programme in 2010, Thandiwe, a political science teacher, said the wide age difference between Banda and her was not an issue.
Thandiwe revealed that her love affair with Banda started after his granddaughter introduced her to him in Chipata.
“We met through his extended grandchild. I was doing her hair and then one day she said, ‘you need to finish my hair. I need to see my grandfather and stuff like that.’ So when we went to the farm, that time he was in Chipata, we went to his farm in Chipata and I just said, ‘hello! hello,’” Thandiwe explained.
“After doing her hair, he dropped me home where I was staying with my brother and then he asked about what I was doing. So I said, ‘I was a teacher in Chiparamba’. That was his home village. So he said: ‘you teach in Chiparamba but you are from the Copperbelt?’ So I said, ‘yes!’ So he said, ‘oh! Okay!’”
“I then told him that I also go to school. That time I was also doing distance learning at Chalimbana in Lusaka. So he said, ‘oh! I have a house in Lusaka. Maybe one day I will come and visit you when you are at school in Chalimbama.’ We visited and from there this is where we ended,” Thandiwe explained.
She also said Banda did not believe when she phoned and informed him that she was expecting twins.
Thandiwe also said her being young and attractive made Banda “come home to that as well”.
“I do love my husband; I think that is why I got married to him because age for me wasn’t an issue. It’s love,” Thandiwe said.
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