Zimbabwe: Deflowered and rejected

Date: October 10, 2019
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I first fell in love during my first year in secondary school but lost my virginity four years later to the same boyfriend. He did not force me but I had only accepted with the condition of never returning to my parents’ place. We then started staying as husband and wife and for four years we had no children. My in-laws started complaining saying that it was better if their son took another wife who was not barren. I packed and left for my parents place not knowing that I had already conceived.  

I later realised that I was pregnant and returned to my husband only to find out that he had already taken in another wife. My parents took me back but I ran off to my husband and tried to fight for my marriage. For four years I was fighting for my marriage to be in place with my husband but had no-one’s support. I realised that I was losing the battle and went back to my parents’ place.  

After four years at my parents’ place while looking after my daughter, I fell in love with a commuter omnibus driver, Langton*, who had never been married. When he introduced me to his relatives, his mother, Svorayi*, despised me from the onset. She claimed that his son could not marry an off-layer “literally translated to a divorcee”. However, my father-in-law to be said that if Langton* loved me then he had no problem with that and he would consider me as his daughter-in-law. 

Langton* said that we had to wed to show everyone that he loved me. Svorayi* then went to Musina, South Africa on the wedding day and the priest had to cancel the event. Langton* arranged that we wed at the magistrate’s court and his father was there to witness the event. We then stayed together for four years without being blessed with a child. Svorayi* accused me of deliberately not falling pregnant. She said that because I had a child from my first marriage I then did not want to have another one. We really tried for a child but nothing came forth.  

Svorayi* then convinced Langton* to get another wife who would give him an heir. Langton* finally agreed and impregnated his sister’s maid. I had opened a restaurant and I focused on running my business. Langton* started to come and harass me even during business hours. One day he physically attacked me and I ended up at a referral hospital in Harare. I spent more than four months in hospital and the dentists had to support my teeth with some wires before I left the hospital.  

After being discharged from hospital, my brothers took me home. Langton* and Svorayi* never visited me in hospital. Only father-in-law regularly came to see me in hospital and was very apologetic. I was summoned to appear in court and was surprised to be instructed not to disturb Langton* and his new wife’s peace. I was told that we were to be on separation for the next years and not to ever set foot at his place. I was not even given a chance to say anything in the court. I was heart-broken because I was the victim but the court treated me like the perpetrator. It is now four since the court ruling and I just wish that the court annuls the marriage so that I also move on with my life like what Langton* did. He is staying with his wife whilst I am doing cross-border trading.