Zimbabwe: Regretting my second marriage

Date: October 10, 2019
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I had been happily married and had four children, two daughters and two sons, before my first husband died in a road traffic accident. I was depending on my late husband for everything that we needed in our lives. My late husband had been very supportive and had instructed me to be a full time house wife. Our eldest child who is a girl is both deaf and dumb. All our children were going to school and we all attended church services as a united and happy family. I was left with no option but to look for ways to fend for my four children. I started a vegetable market but found it not being viable even to pay for my children’s school fees. I started looking for employment in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West Province. My niece got me a job as a house maid in Harare and I gladly took up the offer. 

I explained my situation to my new employers and they really sympathised with me. They agreed that I would work from Mondays to Fridays and rest during the weekends. Every Friday evening I would travel to Chinhoyi to monitor how my children were fairing and return on Sunday evening. My employer would assist me with second hand clothes for my children and even some food items.  

During my regular trips between Harare and Chinhoyi I met a middle aged man, Spartarcus*, whom I eventually fell in love with. He told me that he was also single. He told me that his wife had passed on a couple of years back. He was also a single parent looking after his teenage twin boys. He seemed to be caring and supportive to my plights. He introduced me to his sister, brothers and finally to his teenage sons. I also did the same and soon our children bonded well. We would spend weekends as one big family and go shopping together. We finally formalised our relationship and started staying as husband and wife. 

I did not leave my job as a house maid in Harare. Spartarcus* lived with the children in Chinhoyi while I would join them during weekends. Everything went on well and Spartarcus*’ twin sons later moved to South Africa in search of employment. My second husband started being abusive and spending his money on luxuries like beer. He would not buy food in the house or even pay bills such as water and electricity charges. If I asked him he would plainly tell me that he has no child that needed to use the electricity. He said that I had to work extra hard to feed my children.  

I felt used by Spartarcus* because he just wanted me to be a mother figure to his twin sons till they could look after themselves. Spartarcus* started drinking heavily and would even vomit in our bedroom. I just considered that it was my gift from the Lord. I continued working so as to feed the whole family and pay for my children’s school fees. 

It was during the night and Spartarcus* was in the bedroom when he sent my two sons to buy him some beer. He then called my seventeen year old daughter as if he wanted her to take the plates he was using to the kitchen. He was undressed and being completely nude, he stood behind the bedroom door. When my daughter entered the room he grabbed her and put a towel on her mouth to muffle her cries. He half dragged and half lifted her onto the bed. He tore my teenage daughter’s undergarment and raped her once.  

My eldest daughter who was deaf and dumb came to check on what was delaying her young sister. Since she is deaf she did not knock for she could not hear if there was a reply or not. She just opened the bedroom door and was startled to find Spartarcus lying on top of my young sister. She bolted out of the room and alerted our neighbours. My twenty year old daughter said that she was struggling to free herself from the vice-grip like of Spartarcus* who had succeeded in inserting his manhood into hers. 

A citizens’ arrest was effected on Spartarcus* and the police found him beaten up by some community members who had effected instant justice on him. My eldest son called me to narrate the unfortunate incident and my employers gave a few days to go to Chinhoyi. I was astonished when I set my eyes on Spartarcus* for I never thought that he would do such a thing. My daughter was taken to hospital for medical examination and it was confirmed that penetration really occurred. Fortunately for my daughter she was not infected with any sexually transmitted infection or the deadly HIV. The case is still awaiting trial at the magistrate’s court. I regret entrusting Spartarcus with the welfare of my children.