Child custody: Buyanga assaults estranged girlfriend


BUSINESSMAN Frank Buyanga yesterday allegedly assaulted his estranged girlfriend Chantell Muteswa in Harare and took away his minor son after producing guns to scare away people who wanted to intervene in the scuffle.

By Previous Chida

According to Muteswa’s lawyer Munyaradzi Banya, Buyanga followed up on Muteswa in the company of armed men and attacked her in Waterfalls when she stopped over to buy a drink for the minor child at the centre of a protracted custody wrangle.

“At about 3pm, Buyanga entered the shop and started beating Muteswa. He was in the company of armed men. One was pointing a gun at Muteswa, the other one at the residents who wanted to intervene,” Banya said.

“Buyanga personally went to the car and took the son away and they drove off. I reported the matter at Waterfalls Police and was recorded under RRB 4310164, but am in the process of engaging the Homicide department because they were armed.”

The attack came after Muteswa approached the Supreme Court on Monday challenging a recent High Court order granting joint custody of the couple’s child to the businessman.

Muteswa insisted that she remains the sole custodian of the couple’s minor child and accused Buyanga of corruptly using his personal relationships with senior police officials to harass her.

High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou last week granted joint custody of the minor child to the businessman and Muteswa, invalidating the common rule which gave sole custody rights of a child born out of wedlock to the mother.

In his ruling, Justice Zhou declared that the common law rule was inconsistent with the new Constitution and was, therefore, invalid.

But on March 23, Muteswa approached the Supreme Court challenging Justice Zhou’s ruling.

“I am the sole custodian of the minor child concerned since his birth. I obtained a court order for sole custody from the Children’s Court on May 29, 2019 (CCA205/18),” she said.

“That order is an extant order and currently the only order regulating the custody of the minor child. Buyanga’s contention that the order is outdated or has expired is based on an ignorant view of how court orders are varied or amended.”

“This is not the first time he has made this false allegation. In 2014, after the Gauteng High Court ordered him to sign the two year old’s passport application form, he refused. The Sheriff of the Court signed in his place; I travelled with the child to Zimbabwe in terms of the court order (35102/2014) and returned to South Africa,” she stated.

“At his instance, he requested that I relocate to Zimbabwe in 2015. In 2016, Buyanga invited us to his hotel in South Africa, where he physically abused myself and the child. He threw us out and made us destitute before strangers offered us assistance. We returned home to Zimbabwe.

“On my return, he, as usual, falsely reported that I had kidnapped my own child. In most of his affidavits before the courts, Buyanga swears to false statements which elsewhere would be a criminal offence.”

She added: “Buyanga filed for joint custody (HC3971/19) in March of 2019, the matter was heard by Judge Zhou in July 2019 and a decision granting him joint custody was handed down on March 19, 2020. That order is currently suspended through an appeal I made to the Supreme Court on March 23, 2020.”