Ambassador’s wife sucked into child custody battle

MASVINGO — A lecturer at Midlands State University, Francis Mhere, has appealed to Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Mozambique, Brigadier Agrippa Mutambara, to restrain his wife, Esther, from interfering in a domestic dispute pitting him and his ex-wife, Usual Mutema.

Mhere and Mutema are locked in a legal wrangle over custody of their 10-year-old son, Dean. The child is currently under the custody of Mutema who has in turn left him under the custody of her mother, Selina.

Sometime early this year, Mhere won a court order to permanently take custody of his son following a ruling by a Gweru Civil Court.

However, Mutema and her family members, who include the ambassador’s wife, have refused to comply with the court order and instead mounted a court challenge against the ruling.

Contacted for comment over the weekend, Esther, who is believed to be an aunt to Mutema, confirmed her involvement in the wrangle, adding they had filed opposing papers at the High Court, challenging the Gweru Civil Court’s decision.

“We have just filed court papers at the High Court opposing the judgment. He (Mhere) is going to be served soon. So I cannot say anything at the moment. We have been gagged by the courts,” she said.

On the other hand, Mhere said he had also filed contempt of court charges against his ex-wife and her mother. According to correspondence shown to NewsDay, Mhere recently pleaded with Mutambara to restrain his wife from interfering in his affairs.

“I write to appeal for your intervention. I know that you are neither aware nor involved in the latest developments in which Mai Mutambara is meddling in my son Dean’s custody issue. She is forcing my son to stay in conditions that she would not want her own children to taste,” said Mhere.

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