By Tendai Kamhungira
Former Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Joel Biggie Matiza’s “love child” has told the court that the politician is his biological father, claiming two previous paternity tests conducted have proved such an averment, bringing a new twist to the whole saga.
Tendai Muchando said this in an affidavit while opposing Matiza’s application for a paternity test.
“I am advised that the matter of the DNA tests and paternity in the matter is res judicata and has been settled definitively by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“The court, in two instances, ordered paternity tests which were conducted both locally and in South Africa, which all conclusively held that the applicant (Matiza) is my biological father,” Tendai said.
He said Matiza was attempting to appeal orders handed down by the magistrates’ courts through the back door, adding that this was an abuse of the court process.
In his application, Matiza had told the court that in 1992, Rosemary Muchando successfully sued him for maintenance and since then, he looked after Tendai as his own son, until 2015 when the woman confessed that he was not her son’s father.
“Ever since the respondent (Tendai)’s biological mother Rosemary disclosed to him that I am not his biological father, the respondent has been acting outrageously in an uncontrolled manner and disturbing my peace,” Matiza said.
“It has become critical that the respondent gets compelled to go through the process as this is the only way to demonstrate to the respondent whether or not I am his biological father. The results of such tests will also be a basis for me to seek a restraining order against him.”
However, Tendai on the other hand, said Matiza had fabricated claims of the statements made by Rosemary to the effect that he was not his father.
“I wish to emphasise for the record that those allegations are a pure fabrication and have been made in the hope of misleading the court. My mother Rosemary has always advised me that the applicant is my biological father. To prove this point, she went to court and sued him for maintenance which he duly paid from my infancy to my adulthood. He never appealed or challenged those orders,” he said.
He further said despite the paternity tests confirming him to be the father, it was surprising that Matiza now seeks to rely on affidavits made by his employees, whom he has reportedly influenced.
“The applicant has averred that I have caused him untold suffering and threatened his peace. I vehemently deny any of the allegations levelled against me in that respect.
“The applicant has neither reported to the police nor taken me to any criminal court for prosecution on any of the allegations,” he said, adding that there was also no law which compels him to undergo a paternity test.
“In the second instance, I am advised, which advice I accept, that the Constitution safeguards my rights to absolute privacy, to human and inherent dignity in my private life and have the right to have that dignity respected and protected.
“I have subjected myself to the processes of the law before and cannot under the circumstances be compelled repeatedly simply to satisfy an applicant who cannot accept what has been conclusively decided,” he said.
The matter is yet to be finalised before the High Court. Daily News