Zimbabwe: Messed my life because of true love

Date: October 10, 2019
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I wish I was a Roman Catholic nun because of the abuse I encountered during my marriage. I was happily married to Newman*, owned three grocery shops and a productive farm land in Mashonaland West. Everything went on well till Newman* started dating my younger sister, Chipo*, whom we had employed to work in one of our grocery shops. I did not suspect anything since Chipo* was only seventeen by then. I had three children with Newman*. Chipo* was finally impregnated by Newman* 

Newman* first sent Chipo* back to our parents’ place because he was ashamed of what he had done. A few weeks later he also sent me packing insisting that he could not face my parents because of his actions. He threw me out and told me to even take our three children with me. Newman* persuaded Chipo* to return so that they would live as husband and wife. He did not pay any bride price to my parents for Chipo*. He did not offer any form of support to our three children leading me to report him to the authorities.  

After Chipo* had given birth to her second child, she was also sent away by Newman*. Newman* said that Chipo* was a home wrecker for he was missing me as his legally married wife. Chipo* was forced to leave her two children behind and when I returned to Newman* I took care of my three children as well as Chipo*’s two. He had successfully persuaded me to have the money he paid as maintenance for the children cancelled by the courts. I conceived and gave birth to a set of twins and it meant that I had to look after seven young children. Newman* decided to have his eighteen year old niece, Mercy*, stay with us and assist me with some household chores. I agreed since there was a lot which had to be done. 

That led to the total collapse of my marriage. One day I found Newman* and Mercy* having sex in our matrimonial bedroom. I did not expect such a thing between an uncle and niece. In a fit of rage, I beat them both using anything I could lay my hands on. Two days later, Newman* told me that if I could not withstand his decision to be in a polygamous marriage, I had to leave. He told me to use another room as my bedroom since he wanted to regularly use it with Mercy*. I resisted but was beaten up and had to spend some days in bed because my whole body was in pain. I had no choice but leave my bedroom for Mercy* and Newman* to use.  

The final blow was when Newman* sent me away for the second time. He claimed that I was lazy and he had found himself a very productive wife, Mercy*. During that time he used to beat, insult or humiliate me in front of other people. I now have scars all over my body from the beatings he gave me. He used anything from switches, booted feet, fists, head butts or even threw chairs at me without any provocation. I finally left for Beitbridge, Matebeleland South, to stay with a cousin sister because both my parents were no more. I took the seven children with me and it was not an easy life since my cousin sister had her own family to feed and clothe.  

I ventured into the business of collecting mopane worms and dressing them for resale. I even travelled to far away areas such as Mutare (Manicaland Province) and Chirundu Border Post (Mashonaland West Province) selling the mopane worms in bulk. Newman* finally called and begged me to return for he was then unwell. Out of pity and love, I visited him and agreed to re-unite. I relocated from Beitbridge and started taking care of him. Mercy* had abandoned him when he got sick and he had sold all our assets which included vehicles in paying off debts and seeking medication. Mercy* had also taken away some of the movable property with her. 

Newman* recovered and we ventured into very productive market gardening. From our sales we managed to buy a small truck to ferry our produce to the market. He started drinking beer and having lots of girlfriends. He would not return home for some days and became physically abusive again. He would lock me outside the house, not buy food for the family and come home with girlfriends. I finally sought police protection and Newman* was arrested. I was referred to FACT Shelter where I currently am residing with the children waiting for our day in court.