BELLS were supposed to be tolling, vows being exchanged at a plush wedding that was to draw the who-is-who in politics in Zimbabwe and the region at Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wedding at Raintree Lodge in Umwinsdale, Harare.
But that was not to be. The groom was rightly hoist by his own petard in circumstances that call into question his suitability for the highest office in the land.
So grave have been his errors of judgment, and failure to handle personal affairs that probably only his mother can still repose faith in his ability to be Head of state and Government and Commander-in-chief of our defence forces.
Tsvangirai's wedding was stopped by Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi after his claims that he did not marry Ms Lorcadia Karimatsenga Tembo were exposed by a video shot by his own emissaries to the Karimatsenga family, at his own request.
As it stands, Mr Tsvangirai is in polygamous unions with Ms Karimatsenga and Elizabeth Macheka whom he intended to wed today, and as such cannot enter into a civil union meant for monogamous couples.
Can a man who lies to an entire nation with a straight face over his marital status be trusted with affairs of the state?
More so a man who breaches his oath of office by lying under oath.
For when he claimed, in his opposing affidavit that he only paid "damages" to the Karimatsenga family, Mr Tsvangirai committed perjury by lying under oath, itself a serious infraction, especially by someone who swore to uphold the laws of the country when he took his oath of office.
Can a man who can't uphold the sanctity of promises made to loved ones, who share his bed, be trusted with honouring the promises he makes to strangers whose names and faces he doesn't even know or recognise? Can a man who, at 60, toys with the emotions and the lives of women young enough to be his children or even grandchildren be entrusted with an office that makes him the virtual father of the nation?
A man who can't even accept responsibility for his own actions and instead alleges sinister plots for picking women in airport lobbies?
Yet he accosts the women of his own volition, takes them to various hotels, where he promises them commitment before engaging in unprotected sex at face value.
Any male can open a zip, but it takes a real man to know when, where and for whom to open it; and to accept the consequences of those actions. On this score, Mr Tsvangirai has been found wanting.
What is even more shocking is how he flaunted women before his children's eyes, to the extent of asking his son to step out of the room so he could be alone with a virtual stranger he had just picked in a shopping mall.
Just months after the death of his wife, Susan, in a tragic accident, Tsvangirai plunged headfirst into adolescent style love affairs.
He impregnated a 22-year-old Bulawayo woman.
A few months later he was to marry, and divorce a woman in no more than 12 days.
A woman who, at that time was carrying his twin babies! The stress she was subjected to, no doubt, was a factor in the miscarriage she suffered in the seventh month of her pregnancy, which was the time Mr Tsvangirai, announced he was divorcing her in the Press.
As if that was not enough, two months later Tsvangirai was to announce his intention to marry a new wife, Ms Elizabeth Macheka who he was set to wed today, even though his customary union to Ms Karimatsenga still subsists.
Mr Tsvangirai's bed-hopping has been so reckless that as of Thursday, two women who are known to have been associated with him since March 09 2009, have approached the courts for recourse amid reports many more are waiting in the wing s to launch their court challenges.
Even more shocking is the cavalier manner he used his position as prime minister in the inclusive Government to defile the diplomatic courtesies he was afforded in South Africa to visit his South African lover under the escort of a South African Police Services motorcade.
The man also loves the jet set life, at taxpayer's expense, as he takes his myriad of women to the most expensive resorts and hotels in the world. For instance, earlier this year, he took his whole family for a get-together in New York where he booked himself into a US$5 000-a-night suite at New York's exclusive Waldorf Astoria Hotel for an entire week.
The PM's entourage, that included 10 family members, including sons and daughters-in-law and officials from his office, gobbled at least US$6 900 a day which translated to US$48 300 for accommodation only for the week-long stay.
Even if like the proverbial cat, Mr Tsvangirai survives the scandal, the question still remains; can Zimbabwe survive under his stewardship?