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Garden boy claiming share of Silundika estate

In this photo is the ZAPU high command made up of: Isaac Nyathi, Willie Musarurwa, Jack Ngwenya, George Silundika, Dan Madzimbamuto, Cde Makonese, Cele, Dumiso Dabengwa, Jane Ngwenya, Joshua Nkomo, Skhwili Moyo, Vuma, Saul Ndlovu.

A garden-boy who claims to have married the wife of George Silundika, Mrs. Martha Silundika is now claiming share to the estate of the late national hero, arguing he got married to his wife’s wife in 2000. Mrs. Silundika is now also late and was also declared a liberation war hero.

However, the garden-boy, in the centre of controversy Johnson Ncube had to be kicked out of the nationalist’s properties by his children while he remained adamant. According to documents, Mr Ncube got married to Martha Silundika on September 16, 2000 under Chapter 5:11.

Mrs Silundika passed away in 2003 and reportedly left Mr Ncube in charge of her home, House Number 14 McNeille Road in Bulawayo’s Riverside suburb. George Silundika, a nationalist of high repute, died on April 9 1981 in Harare. The first post-Independence Cabinet Minister to die, Cde Silundika was the Minister of Roads, Posts and Telecommunications.

Following Mrs. Silundika’s death, Mr Ncube, who is unemployed, has been making ends meet by pirating using a Mercedes Benz that Mrs. Silundika left him. Mr Ncube was 51 years old while Mrs. Silundika was 63 when they got married. In an interview on Monday, Mr Ncube said he first met Mrs. Silundika in 2000, when he went to her home to be interviewed for the job of gardener.

“It was love at first sight. We clicked from the start and she asked me if I did not mind that she had poor health. I assured her that I did not. Our love grew rapidly and we got married that same year and I moved into the main house,” said Mr Ncube, who was armed with the marriage and death certificates.

He said at the time, her children, Paul, Thembi, Pauline and Felix seemed happy that their mother had found a partner. The four are in the Diaspora. “I loved Martha with all my heart. She made me promise to look after the house when she died and even wrote a will, whose contents I do not know. I was devastated when she died,” said Mr Ncube. 

He said trouble started in 2004 when Pauline tried to chase him away from the house. Mr Ncube said Paul, who said they all had to respect their mother’s wishes, blocked the move.

“Paul is now ill so I think Pauline has taken advantage of that to evict me from the house. When I got home on Sunday, I found that her friend, Mr Norman Ncube, had locked the gate. He refused to let me in and I had to sleep outside in the car,” said Mr Ncube.

“Shockingly, I have just realised that her children wrote that she was a widow on her death certificate, when they fully knew she was legally married to me.” He said he spoke to Pauline, who is in the UK, on the phone on Monday, asking for an explanation on the new development. “She told me; ‘enough is enough, you must leave the house. We will give you the Benz as a gift’.”

Mr Ncube said he was looking for money to get legal representation. “I am not employed and I have to pirate even more to get money for food. After the love that I shared with Martha, I think Pauline is being unfair. I will sleep outside the gate again tonight, like I did on Sunday night,” he said. Mr Ncube said his clothes had been moved from the main house and dumped in a garage.

“I can only go to the garage to change clothes. The rest of the house is out of bounds. I have also been given a week within which to move my clothes from the garage. I have no idea where I will take them to,” he said. “However, I am prepared to fight this to the highest court in the land. I need to see the will, which I know Martha left. I want to know why the children are hiding it from me.” Zim Diaspora.com