A court order gagging the media from covering details of the nasty divorce between Defence Forces commander Constantine Chiwenga and estranged wife Jocelyn has been re-imposed after it was temporarily suspended.
Jocelyn’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu said they will challenge the gag since the “judge did not consult” them as is the standard procedure.
“The gag was initially granted on a provisional basis. The judge then confirmed it without lawyers going to arguments. So we appealed that the judgment be suspended. When you appeal, that would normally see the gag being lifted.”
“The judge called us to his chambers and told us there should be a gag because people would end up being arrested. We refused that and the judge advised us to approach the Supreme Court in order to have the gag removed.
“We all refused because it was coming from the judge,” said Mpofu. The case had been under wraps after Chiwenga’s lawyers secured a provisional order to stop the media from covering the divorce proceedings.
Jocelyn is demanding $40 million from Chiwenga’s new wife as damages for allegedly offending her feelings and cohabitating with her partner. The army chief married Mary Mubaiwa, a former supermodel and ex-wife of former Zimbabwe soccer international player, Shingirai Kawondera.
Last year in November Jocelyn Chiwenga, claimed her marriage involved periods of physical and emotional abuse by her husband. She claimed that her husband used to beat her up and then send her to Malaysia for treatment.
Jocelyn said Chiwenga also threatened to shoot her if she ever reported the assaults to the police. “If anything happens to me after the publication of this story, the nation should know it came from Chiwenga,” Jocelyn said at the time.
In 2008 Jocelyn harangued and harassed Morgan Tsvangirai and journalists who had accompanied the MDC-T leader on a tour of supermarkets in Harare after Mugabe’s scorched earth policy of price freezes which left shop shelves empty.
She caused a scene at the Makro Wholesalers at Hillside in Harare, where she threatened to ‘take away’ Tsvangirai’s ‘manhood.’ In a fit of rage, she also slapped freelance photographer Tsvangirai Mukwazhi, while two other journalists sustained minor injuries in the ensuing fracas.
Early this month General Chiwenga, told the High Court that he was driven away from their matrimonial home because Jocelyn subjected him to ‘violent beatings’. He admitted to constantly being beaten and says she once violently attacked him while he was sedated and she also pushed him off the bed.
In another hair raising incident, Jocelyn allegedly arrived at the army headquarters and demanded US$300 000 from Chiwenga. When the army boss could not fork out the amount she went into a fit of rage and trashed his office destroying picture frames, vases and ornaments in front of his junior officers.
Chiwenga in his court affidavit says he left the office and sought refuge at their family home in Borrowdale Brooke. The army chief says because he was “feeling sick” he called his physician, Dr Paul Chimedza, who attended to him and administered some sleeping medication.
While Dr Chimedza watched over his drowsy patient, Jocelyn allegedly burst into the room shouting at the top of her voice. “She jumped into General Chiwenga’s bed and beat him up on his face with clenched fists. As he was sedated, he could not defend himself,” his lawyers claim.
“Dr Chimedza pulled Jocelyn away from General Chiwenga and pleaded with her that General Chiwenga was genuinely ill and she should not continue assaulting him.
“When Dr Chimedza thought he had calmed Jocelyn down, she then pushed General Chiwenga off the bed. He fell to the floor and hit his head against the step of the platform on which the bed rests.
“As a result of the fall he injured the right side of his head. General Chiwenga was bruised and swollen from assaults. Owing to sedation, he was helpless,” the affidavit claims.
Chiwenga’s problems did not end there. When he eventually sat on the bed, Jocelyn charged at him again threatening to kill him with a spear and axe.