Tendayi Westerhof has come up to claim a stake on the controversial estate of the late Dr Chris Mushonga after a nasty battle for the deceased doctor’s estate forced his widow, minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, to give up her inheritance.
Westerhof, a renowned Aids activist, last week wrote to the minister’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, noting the decision by Misihairabwi-Mushonga to relinquish the inheritance and brought up her daughter’s claim to her share of the estate – a flat in the Avenues area of Harare.
Westerhof has a child with the late Dr Mushonga.
In his will the late Dr Mushonga bequeathed the flat to Priscilla, who ceded it to Westerhof’s daughter, Ndambi Mushonga.
The flat must be shared with Tamara Mushonga, the late doctor’s grandchild.
“I wish to express my gratitude to Mrs Mushonga for this gesture. I humbly ask you to represent Ndambi who is currently at a boarding school.
“It is my wish that I be given occupancy of the flat (in Josiah Tongogara Avenue) by the time she comes from school so that she has a place to stay. I wish to live with her in the flat as her mother,” Westerhof wrote.
Westerhof could neither confirm nor deny her intention to engage Mtetwa.
“I am sorry l cannot help you on that one. In fact, I am wondering where you got that letter. It was not addressed to you in the first place,” she said before switching off her phone.
Westerhof was once married to former Warriors coach Clemens Westerhof who has since settled in South Africa where he got married to another Zimbabwean woman.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the Minister of Regional Integration and International Cooperation last month relinquished her rights to the estate citing “harassment and intimidation by state agents”, who were allegedly being sent by her late husband’s family to fight in their corner over the estate.
Her action followed bitter wrangles between herself and her late husband’s children, Tavengwa and Takudzwa, who claimed the minister was out to strip them of their inheritance.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga announced her decision at a press conference where she said her husband’s legacy could not be destroyed for the sake of “a few dollars and a house”.
Women rights activists reacted by expressing dismay at the minister for giving up on the estate, saying she had set a bad precedent which could lead to the trampling of women’s rights.
Dr Mushonga’s brother Zacharias confirmed the existence of a child that his brother had sired with Westerhof.
“Yes, Westerhof had a daughter with my brother. Ndambi is the name of the child and she is 15 years old,” Zacharias said.
Executor of the estate Israel Gumunyu was quick to mention that he did not like dealing with the press over such matters.
He however confirmed receipt of the letter from Westerhof.
Mtetwa could not be reached for comment.