Chiwenga, wife act to end feud…as they zero in on an out-of-court settlement
VICE President Constantino Chiwenga and his estranged wife Marry, pictured, are close to striking an out-of-court settlement that will allow the former model access to her children, cars and matrimonial home, the Daily News reports. This comes as the couple has been embroiled in an acrimonious divorce case which has set tongues wagging around the country as it has played out in the High Court. This also comes as Marry is facing a slew of charges which include attempting to kill her powerful husband during the time he was gravely ill in South Africa last year. When the couple’s matter, in which Marry is seeking access to her children and properties came before High Court judge Christopher Dube yesterday, lawyers representing both parties were in agreement that there was need for an outof-court settlement. “The matter has been deferred to Tuesday, January 21, for possible argument or confirmation of settlement. “We exchanged positions as legal practitioners acting for both sides in the matter and the tentative position is that this is a matter that we both agree should be settled and not argued. “It will be in the best interests of the children that the parties find each other and that the law is followed,” Marry’s lawyer Taona Nyamakura told journalists soon after emerging from the judge’s chambers. He also said if Chiwenga and Marry failed to find common ground by Monday, they would argue the matter on Tuesday. Chiwenga’s lawyer, Wellington Pasipanodya, confirmed that they would be back in court on Tuesday — without divulging the deliberations they had had in the judge’s chambers. Marry — who is facing attempted murder, fraud, externalisation and money laundering charges — and is out on $50
000 bail, has told the court that Chiwenga took custody of the children while she was in remand prison. She has further claimed that upon her release, she was denied access to the couple’s Borrowdale Brooke property, and permission to use her six cars — a Toyota Lexus, a Range Rover and four Mercedes Benz vehicles — as well as her clothes and other personal goods. She has also demanded access to her two safes containing personal items and permission to see her children. In the application, Marry also sought an order for her to be allowed to access the couple’s Orchid Gardens property in Domboshava, as well as a directive for one Lieutenant Colonel Mangezi to return all the furniture and goods that were removed from the property allegedly using a Zimbabwe National Army vehicle. She has also accused Chiwenga of employing “cowboy” tactics and abusing his position as the country’s vice president — by using the army to bar her from accessing their properties. In response, Chiwenga said he took custody of the children after Marry was arrested as they had no one to stay with. “The applicant was arrested and the children were left alone. It became incumbent on the respondent (Chiwenga) to take the children. “I took them on holiday abroad and initially they had signs of trauma as they explained the black magic rituals they were subjected to by the applicant (Marry). “The various tools of trade by the
witchdoctors which were unexpectedly left behind by applicant after her arrest told a horror story. “My clothes in some instances were heaped together and sprayed by applicant with some unknown substances. “I had to take the children away to cleanse memories of the horrors they experienced,” Chiwenga said. The former Defence Forces commander also said “witchcraft was all over the house”, adding that this was embarrassing in this day and age. Chiwenga also said that his estranged wife had never made a request to see the children, adding that he was better suited to have custody of the children as Marry was allegedly unfit to look after them. He said a medical report showed that Marry should be under the care of a physician, a surgeon and a psychiatrist. “It is indicated that she has flashbacks, suffers from lack of sleep and has difficulties in breathing, symptoms of illicit drug abuse. This abuse also caused swollen limbs and arms due to pricking needles. “Applicant cannot be trusted with children in the circumstances. “While she cannot be precluded from being with and seeing the children, the court must balance the scales as there is need for both parents to continuously be with the children in order to ensure an unabused welfare,” Chiwenga said. He also accused the former model of using “cunning” tactics to enter into his life. “Marrying her was the worst mistake I
made. “This was all due to the cunning behaviour she employed to secure a place in my life. “She needed moulding, but I later found you could not teach an old dog new tricks,” he said. Chiwenga, who is currently the acting president, also said that his estranged wife did not own the cars that she was demanding access to in her court papers. He further said that he was willing to give Marry her personal clothing and goods, but would not want to stay with her at their matrimonial house in the plush Borrowdale Brooke gated community in Harare. Chiwenga claimed that he was awarded the house as part of his previous divorce settlement. But Mary hit back, claiming that the retired army general was paranoid and harboured presidential ambitions. She also accused Chiwenga of abusing drugs and not being fit to be granted custody of the children because of his ill-health. Marry is asking to be paid US$40 000 a month in maintenance funds for herself, and US$2 500 for each of the couple’s three children until they reach 18 years. In addition, she is demanding that Chiwenga meets her expenses for reconstructive surgery and other medical costs arising from the injuries that she suffered from a bomb blast in Bulawayo in 2018. Marry is further asking Chiwenga to provide her with an internationally-recognised medical aid cover until her death, as well as fully paid for annual holidays for the children.