BY THABANI ZWELIBANZI
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga suffers from acute paranoia that leads him to fear that his ascendancy to the country’s presidency could be in jeopardy, explosive new court documents show.
Court documents filed by his estranged wife, in response to Chiwenga’s own affidavit say the vice president’s paranoia is driven by poor health and heavy doses of drugs, including opiates.
In addition, Marry alleged that Chiwenga had surrounded himself with people that wanted to take advantage of him, the latest twist in the acrimonious split between the vice president and his wife.
“The defendant (Marry) avers that the demise of the customary union was brought about by the plaintiff’s (Chiwenga’s) paranoia brought about by his poor health, his being under heavy doses of drugs, including unprescribed (sic) opiates, his surrounding himself with persons who want to take advantage of him and his belief that his ascendancy to the position of presidency could be in jeopardy,” read the court documents.
Chiwenga led the coup that ousted the long-serving Robert Mugabe who died last September.
It is often rumoured that he has presidential ambitions, but this has never come to the fore, until the latest dramatic twist to his ongoing divorce saga with Marry.
In his court papers, it is asserted that Chiwenga had begun customary rites to end his marriage to Marry, which he described as the worst mistake he ever made, but the latter denied that.
Marry “further claims, in reconvention that the plaintiff has failed to follow proper customary law procedures to end the customary marriage and that instead plaintiff sent (former military general Anselem) Sanyatwe to give her a US$100 bill, which she declined to accept on the basis that it is unlawful in Zimbabwe to transact in United States dollars and [that] it was for the plaintiff to give gupuro after following all customary protocol,” the court papers continue.
In Shona custom, gupuro is a token, often monetary, that a man gives to an estranged wife to indicate the end of a marriage.
Alternatively, Marry demanded that if the court found that the marriage had been properly ended, Chiwenga should pay US$2 500 per month or its Zimbabwe dollar interbank rate equivalent for the upkeep of each of the couple’s three minor children.
She further demanded that he pay school fees for the children.
Chiwenga is demanding custody of the children, claiming Marry is unwell among a host of other issues, but she hit back saying by operation of the law, she was both the custodian and guardian of the minors.
For herself, she demanded the equivalent of US$40 000 per month payable in Zimbabwe dollars at the prevailing interbank rate until her death or remarriage.
Marry asked the courts to compel Chiwenga to fund one international holiday for her per year at a five-star hotel with $25 000 spending money, one regional holiday with at least $15 000 to spend and one local one with a Z$25 000 kitty.
She also demanded that Chiwenga pay her costs for reconstructive surgery and all other medical costs arising from the injuries she suffered during the White City bombing in June 2018.
Marry is represented by Taona Nyamakura from Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners, while Chiwenga is represented by Manase & Manase Legal Practitioners.