Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwenga’s estranged wife Jocelyn and the army chief’s new spouse Mary Mubaiwa are locked in a war that has now spilt into the High Court.
Jocelyn is suing Mary in the High Court for $40 million adultery damages, while the general’s new wife yesterday approached the same court seeking to gag the media from covering the lawsuit.
In both cases, Chiwenga’s wives have been throwing brickbats at each other, with Mary seeking, among other things, to protect the general’s love life, Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe. General Chiwenga is widely perceived as a Zanu PF and Mugabe loyalist.
Documents obtained from the High Court by NewsDay show that Mary made an urgent application (Case No 3491/12) through her lawyers Munangati and Associates to bar the media from publishing articles on the
pending adultery case.
The court papers also claim that Mary was being
traumatised by the matter.
“It is common cause that the man at the centre of the controversy is the Commander, General Constantine Guveya Chiwenga, and he holds a very senior public position in the country,” wrote her lawyer Christos Venturas of Munangati and Associates.
“As such, as a result of the mention of his name, the media will be eager to sensationalise the whole issue, greatly affecting the applicant and her minor child.”
Mary then accuses Jocelyn of leaking information regarding her to the media. She says the news articles always politicised the issue by virtue of drawing in Zanu PF and Mugabe.
“It is apparent that the strained relationship between Commander General Chiwenga and respondent (Jocelyn) is causing respondent deep bitterness and resentment towards me to the extent that she will try at all costs to publicise issues about me in both the local and international media,” Mary said.
“It is undeniable that . . . General Chiwenga, the man at the centre of controversy, holds a very public position and, as such, the mention of his name attracts enormous attention and certainly the media get frenzied in reporting the issues.
“I am not a public figure and yet I am dragged into the public domain and certainly this is feeding fodder to the Press who sensationalise the matter and it’s not beneficial to anyone. Myself, my family and my children are really traumatised by these media reports and being hunted down by the Press.”
She says she is worried the local media would take up the story, which was published in the South African media at the weekend.
“I submit that this application is urgent in that proceedings were already instituted and given that the South African media has already taken up the story the likelihood of local papers taking it up is very, very high,” Mary says in the court papers.
On the other hand, Jocelyn, in her High Court application (Case No HC1561/12) filed on February 10 through her lawyers Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans, demanded from Mary $20 million for insult and a further $20 million for loss of consortium, which refers to the deprivation of benefits of a relationship.
Jocelyn, who married Chiwenga in 1998, maintains her marriage is still valid because she never signed divorce papers.
She accused Chiwenga last year of committing bigamy after the army chief married Mary. She said she only found out about the marriage in the media.
The army chief reportedly married Mary, a 28-year-old former supermodel and daughter of Dynamos Football Club chairman Kenny Mubaiwa, last year.
Mary is the ex-wife of former Zimbabwe national soccer team striker Shingi Kawondera and has since moved in with the army commander at his Greystone Park home. In the court papers, Jocelyn said:
“Defendant (Mary) has in full knowledge of plaintiff’s (Jocelyn) marriage to Constantine Guveya Chiwenga commenced cohabitation with Constantine Guveya Chiwenga and entered into an adulterous relationship with him.
“By virtue of the actions of the defendant (Mary), the plaintiff (Jocelyn) has suffered damages by way of the contumelia (deliberate act of disrespect and humiliation) inflicted upon the plaintiff by the defendant and for loss of consortium sustained by reason of the loss of comfort society in assistance of her spouse.
“The gross impudence and insult to the plaintiff caused by the public and open conduct of the defendant in purporting to have married Constantine Guveya Chiwenga having aggravated the damages sustained by plaintiff.”
Mary’s lawyers, Munangati and Associates, have not yet responded to the adultery charges.