By Robert Tapfumaneyi
A LOCAL organisation championing the rights of fathers has hailed a Supreme Court ruling granting Vice President Constantino Chiwenga custody of his three minor children he fathered with estranged wife, Marry Mubaiwa.
Fathers’ Rights Movement Zimbabwe (FRMZ) thanked the apex court for asserting the rights of fathers over their young children in a society that has regarded mothers as best to take care of young offspring.
The lobby group said for long, fathers have been overlooked in child custody matters which have often come out in favour of mothers and in some circumstances for material gain.
“We would like to congratulate Hon. Dr. CDGN Chiwenga and his legal team on his legal victory which grants him custody over his children,” said FRMZ in a statement Friday.
“We applaud the courts over the fair landmark judgment which will be used as a reference by several fathers across Africa who find themselves in similar situations.
“The judgment proves that fathers have rights, and their rights are important and should never be overlooked.
“We thank Dr. Chiwenga for being a present father, fighting for custody over his children.
“Thank you Dr. Chiwenga for leading the fight and winning a major victory for Fathers across Africa.”
On Thursday, VP Chiwenga won the legal battle for the custody of his three minor children after appealing an earlier High Court ruling which placed the custody of the minors in the hands of their mother.
The three judges panel led by Elizabeth Gwaunza ruled that the order granted earlier by the High Court in favour of Mubaiwa “cannot stand”.
Chiwenga lodged an appeal arguing the High Court could not place his children in the custody of Mubaiwa whom he claimed required being “under constant care of a surgeon, physician and a psychiatrist”.
The two were married under an unregistered customary law marriage and the union was blessed with three children the eldest aged 9, 8, and 6 years respectively.
However, the marriage fell into turbulent times, with the VP accused of influencing his wife’s arrest on charges of attempting his murder, fraud, laundering and contravention of the exchange control regulations.