By Mary Taruvinga
MARRY, the estranged wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, has filed papers at the High Court demanding US$47 000 per month for maintenance as she also revealed the VP was taking unprescribed drugs as he believed his ascendancy to be Zimbabwe’s President was in jeopardy.
In her papers, the ex-model further claims Chiwenga purchased several upmarket properties outside the country using relatives as proxies in order to avoid the west targeting the assets under the ongoing sanctions regime against some top government officials.
The Chiwengas are going through a messy divorce process at the High Court where Marry is demanding a share of the couple’s properties including luxury vehicles.
The couple is tussling for its minor children’s custody with the VP claiming his wife often carried out some rituals in the family home, in the process traumatising the kids. Chiwenga has also accused his wife of being a drug addict.
However, Marry has dismissed the allegations telling the High Court that she was not a drug addict but a better parent than VP Chiwenga who was relying on drugs such as opiates without a prescription.
She is also demanding that Chiwenga should compensate her for injuries sustained when a grenade exploded at White City Stadium in 2018, injuring her and the VP.
The explosion during President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s presidential campaign rally is yet to be solved after killing two presidential security aides and injuring more. Chiwenga and wife were airlifted to South Africa for medical treatment.
Marry did not specify how much Chiwenga should compensate her for, for the bomb blast but said the compensation was for reconstructive surgery on her legs and arms which continue to hurt.
“Defendant (Marry) avers in reconvention that the demise of the customary law union was brought about by plaintiff’s (Chiwenga) acute paranoia brought about by his poor health, his being under heavy doses of drugs including unprescribed opiates, his surrounding himself with persons who want to take advantage of him and his belief that his ascendency to the position of Presidency might be in jeopardy,” Marry said in her claim.
Marry claimed that she is a better parent to their three minor children compared to Chiwenga who is always away seeking medication.
“Defendant denies that she is a drug addict and pleads that the children were under her exclusive care for long periods of time without any adverse consequences on them and it is denied that the children’s best interests would be served by custody being awarded to a sickly absentee parent who is more in hospital than out,” Marry said.
Chiwenga filed for divorce late last year.
The war between the two has escalated resulting in Marry being arrested on allegations of attempting to kill Chiwenga while he was bed-ridden at a hospital in South Africa.
She was also charged with money laundering, externalisation and fraud following a tip-off to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission by the VP.
In her response, Marry said Chiwenga had all his assets registered in his relatives’ names in attempts to avoid the properties being targeted again under sanctions that were imposed on him by the United States.
She said she actively participated in acquiring the assets but her name could not be used in registering the assets for political reasons.
“Defendant pleads that all assets acquired during the subsistence of the marriage were acquired with the full knowledge and participation of the plaintiff whose name could not be used and who on advice from the bank, procured his relatives to assist in the acquisition of the assets on the basis that plaintiff’s name could not be used as he was on the sanctions list,” Marry said through her lawyers.
“Defendant further pleads that all the monies used to acquire assets were availed by the plaintiff from some of his business partners and that the amnesia he has developed is part of the contrived criminal proceedings against her.”
Marry then demanded US$40 000 maintenance and US$2 500 for the couple’s three minor children.
“Defendant claims in reconvention maintenance for the three minor children, the equivalent of US$2 500 calculated at the interbank rate prevailing on the date of payment until each child attains the age of majority or become self-supporting…defendant claims in reconvention personal maintenance in an amount equivalent to US$40 000 per month payable in Zimbabwe dollars calculated at the interbank rate prevailing on the date of payment until her death or remarriage,” she said.
She also wants to maintain the fancy life she was accustomed to.
“The plaintiff must pay the entire school account in respect of each child at a Catholic school including school fees, levies, top-ups, costs of extra-lessons costs of all extra-curricular activities, costs of school and sports uniforms, sports equipment and all other school related costs,” she said.
“That plaintiff pays for the defendant and her children annual holidays; one fully expensed international holiday per annum at a five star facility inclusive of spending money of not less than the equivalent of US$25 000, one fully expensed regional holiday per annum at a five star facility inclusive of spending money of not less than the equivalent of US$15 000, one fully expensed local holiday per annum and spending money of not less than Z$25 000 per person.”
Marry also complained that Chiwenga did not even end their customary marriage but simply rushed to the courts.
She claimed the Vice President sent a go-between with a divorce token which she refused to accept because it was in US currency.
Consequently, the customary marriage continues to subsist,” she said.
On the other hand, Chiwenga wants Marry’s bail to be revoked on grounds that she did not surrender all her travelling documents.
But Marry said Chiwenga’s requests should be turned down because he approached the courts with “dirty hands”.