VICE-PRESIDENT Constantino Chiwenga’s three minor children are now in the care of maids after he shut his estranged wife Marry out of their lives, The NewsHawks has learnt.
Marry revealed in an interview with The NewsHawks that she has tried reaching out to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to assist her to access her children, but that has not yielded results.
The couple has three minor children, but Marry says the vice-president has denied her access to them for 17 months. Chiwenga in December 2019 also caused Marry’s arrest after accusing her of attempted murder.
Marry said she was troubled because her children were living without parents as they were staying with a maid, Delight Munyoro, in Marondera.
Ironically last January, Munyoro filed a report against Marry accusing her of assaulting her at Hellenic School in Borrowdale following an altercation over the custody of the children.
This was after the High Court had granted Mary custody of the children. Chiwenga appealed to the Supreme Court, which then ruled in his favour. Marry also said the children have been “put through a lot of stress”, including paternity tests.
“It is very painful to know your kids are being looked after by maids when you are still alive,” Marry said.
“And the same maid you are engaged in a court battle with, the same maid who might be eying the father of your children. How do you expect somebody like that to love your children, when she hates you so much? And, she is really willing to do anything and everything to destroy you. It’s very, very painful; very, very painful. So now imagine, she’s the one looking after my children, she’s the one staying within them in Marondera while he is doing whatever he is doing shacking up with different female entertainers. So really, it’s very painful.”
Marry said Chiwenga’s actions had affected her health.
“Sometimes one’s health deteriorates, not because they are sick, but because there is something missing in their life. My children are the missing half of my heart. And how am I supposed to breathe with half a heart? How do I breathe? How do I live, how do I survive, how can I be happy?” she asked.
Marry, who was arrested in December 2019 on money laundering and attempted murder charges, spent several months in prison. She said the arrest was a tactic to get her out of her house so that she takes away her children.
“Mind you, when this man sent me to prison, he took my children to China. Not for holiday like what he said. He did not take them for holiday. The children were traumatised. Traumatised by what? He took my children to China for paternity tests, simply because he had been told by other men or another man that those are not your children. Now, imagine a man with the status that he has that needs somebody to tell him ‘those are not your kids’,” she said.
Marry also revealed Chiwenga did not speak to her or the children when he was being treated in China, where he underwent a delicate operation to clear the oesophagus.
Chiwenga was in China from July to November 2019 for treatment.
“When he was in China he did not communicate. Two of my children are born in November. One on the 4th and the other on the 15th. There was not even a single phone call to say I am calling to say happy birthday to my children,” Marry said.
“Whether he was angry at me or not, that does not stop one from calling his children. I didn’t even know what was going on, but he already was not talking to me. But he didn’t call to say happy birthday to his children.
“Even when he got back here, a man that loves his children, even if he is not happy with his wife, will come and say ‘hello, can I spend time with my children?’ Alternatively, he can send someone to say I want to see them. But the first week that he was here, nothing, not a single phone call to say how are the children or whatever.
“We didn’t even know where he was staying. I didn’t know what was going on. I was just in the dark and obviously I was the last one to know.”
Marry, who has a chronic condition, lymphoedema (swelling in the body’s tissues), which has worsened her wounds, has been denied her passport to get medical attention in South Africa.
She said when she gets ill, she starts worrying that she might die without seeing her kids. Her pleas to Mnangagwa have fallen on deaf ears as he has kept mum despite hearing Marry’s cries for help.
“The only reason I worry when I’m sick is my children because all I think about is what if I die without seeing my children? I have asked the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) that should I die without seeing my children? As sick as I am, the way I am struggling, you let your deputy continue to abuse me, to abuse authority, to abuse his office, to abuse state machinery? You continue to watch him and do nothing. But sometimes you will be talking to yourself,” Marry said.
“My husband is infringing on my human rights and I don’t know whether Human Rights Watch sees this. He says that he is above the law, he says he’s the judge, jury and executioner. One of these days, his wings will be clipped.”
Marry said she has not been consulted on anything to do with her children, including health issues, since being shut out of their lives.
“I don’t know whether they will be vaccinated or not. And really, for them to be vaccinated, it must be in consultation with me as their mother. Not for their father to just say they should be vaccinated, making himself the mother and the father, I’m alive, I’m not dead,” she said.
Marry said even in happier times, Chiwenga had no time for his children, hence her worry about their welfare. She said the children woukd sometimes trick him so that he could come home.
“When my husband was away sick in China, I was with my children every other day and even before that…My husband is a very busy man. So, he really has no time to look after children. I’ll give you one example, one very hurtful example, when there was Operation Restore Legacy (military coup), my son, our second together, Christian, went to my husband’s medic and said to him, Sibanda, ‘Please take pictures so that you can go and show daddy, that we are not feeling well, maybe if he sees these pictures, he will come home’. This was after they put Elastoplast on their hands, forehead and nose. That is how much he was so out of touch with his children.
“So, I don’t know when he became the doting father that he claims to be,” Marry said.
She said the vice-president wants to maintain a tight grip on her so that he inflicts pain on her.
“He wants me to still be his wife, because if he didn’t want me to be his wife, he would have given me my children a long time ago. He still refuses with some of my clothes. He refuses with my personal property, my offices. It’s a very hurtful thing, me being without my children,” Marry said.