ZIMBABWE Defence Forces (ZDF) commander General Constantine Chiwenga has told how he was driven from his home by violent beatings from his estranged wife, Jocelyn.
Chiwenga – now customarily married to another woman – is divorcing his wife at the High Court, but a judge has imposed a gag order on Zimbabwean newspapers banning publication of details of the divorce.
But New Zimbabwe.com has seen papers filed by Chiwenga asking the High Court to dissolve his marriage. The couple married in November 1998.
In them, Chiwenga tells how:
# He was forced to flee his matrimonial home due to his wife’s constant beatings
# She violently attacked him while he was sedated and pushed him off the bed
# She arrived at his office at the army HQ and demanded $300,000, and when he could not give her she trashed his office
# She threatened to kill him with an axe
# Nothing can repair their marriage
The divorce case has been going on under a media black-out. Chiwenga’s lawyers from the law firm Scanlen and Holderness obtained an order from Justice Ben Hlatshwayo barring reporting of the divorce proceedings.
The decision is being appealed by Jocelyn’s lawyers who filed their opposition on May 18.
New Zimbabwe.com has seen papers filed by Chiwenga which reveal how the man in charge of an army – literally – was allegedly terrorised at home and his workplace by Jocelyn, who is famed for having a short fuse. She once violently attacked Gugulethu Moyo while she was working as a lawyer for the privately-owned Daily News.
Chiwenga said their marriage had irretrievably broken down because Jocelyn was very temperamental and believed strongly in her own ways. He said no amount of counselling would restore the lost love.
Through his lawyers, the General further claimed that he left the matrimonial home in April 2010 after a heated argument with Jocelyn over money. She had visited him at work and demanded $300,000.
When he told her he did not have the money, he claims, she went wild, destroying picture frames, vases and ornaments in the presence of his subordinates.
Embarrassed, the General says he left his office and went to the family home in Borrowdale Brooke “feeling sick” and called his physician, Dr Paul Chimedza, who attended to him.
The doctor administered sleeping medication to the army chief. But as he watched over his drowsy patient, it is alleged, Jocelyn burst in shouting at the top of her voice.
“She jumped into General Chiwenga’s bed and beat him up on his face with clenched fists. As he was sedated, he could not defend himself,” his lawyers say in the papers.
“Dr Chimedza pulled Jocelyn away from General Chiwenga and pleaded with her that General Chiwenga was genuinely ill and she should not continue assaulting him.
“When Dr Chimedza thought he had calmed Jocelyn down, she then pushed General Chiwenga off the bed. He fell to the floor and hit his head against the step of the platform on which the bed rests.
“As a result of the fall he injured the right side of his head. General Chiwenga was bruised and swollen from assaults. Owing to sedation, he was helpless.”
When the army chief – commander of 30,000 men and women – picked himself up and sat on the bed, Jocelyn charged him again threatening to kill him with a spear and axe, it is alleged.
Dr Chimedza called General Chiwenga’s personal staff officer, Colonel Michael Chaminuka, who arrived and took his boss to another of the army chief’s properties in Greystone Park.
On an earlier date in 2009, Chiwenga’s lawyers say he was left nursing injuries after Jocelyn slammed the bedroom door – trapping his finger between the door and doorframe.
“There were other miscellaneous incidents where Jocelyn assaulted by slapping him on the face, scratching him and spitting at him,” the lawyers say.
“This formed Jocelyn’s general course of conduct towards General Chiwenga although General Chiwenga cannot state with precision the exact dates.”
Chiwenga also claims Jocelyn was extravagant and mismanaged finances, resulting in bank loans not being serviced. The two are also bickering over an unpaid loan amounting to about $2.2 million with a local bank, and failure to pay workers in several companies they own.
The General says he is not willing to have an equal share of properties with his estranged wife, and has proposed giving her only two houses while he keeps about 21 other properties registered in various company names. They also have a property in Malaysia.
Chiwenga would also keep all movable property in the matrimonial home in Borrowdale Brooke.
Jocelyn is fighting back, claiming she was the one abused by the General in the relationship and that their marriage troubles were caused by his infidelity.
She says General Chiwenga began dating Mary Mubaiwa, a former model who was once married to CAPS United striker Shingi Kawondera, while they still lived together.
She says for her to consent to a divorce, she should be awarded 50 percent of the properties and Chiwenga should first terminate his customary marriage to Mubaiwa, for whom he is said to have paid $47,000 lobola. She said Chiwenga was “approaching the court with dirty hands”.
“In the further alternative, if the relationship between the parties has broken down, then it has done so on account of the adulterous relationship between Mary Mubaiwa and General Chiwenga,” she said through her lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu.
Justice Chinembiri Bhunu – who recently barred Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai from marrying Elizabeth Macheka citing an existing customary marriage to Locardia Karimatsenga Tembo – is hearing the divorce case.