By Lance Guma
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Three days after MDC-T youth leader Solomon Madzore was arrested for allegedly likening President Robert Mugabe to a ‘limping donkey’ it was reported Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Constantine Chiwenga had called Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai a ‘psychiatric patient’.
“We have no time to meet a sellout. Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric patient who needs a competent psychiatrist,” Chiwenga told the Zanu PF controlled Sunday Mail newspaper. It would be “a mockery to the thousands of people who sacrificed their lives fighting for the country’s independence,” he said.
Apart from the obvious ‘animal farm’ scenario where some animals are more equal than others, a messy divorce pitting General Chiwenga and his wife of 14 years, Jocelyn Chiwenga, exposed the fact (by Chiwenga’s own testimony in court) that it was actually his wife who needed a ‘competent psychiatrist’.
Interestingly it was only last year that Mugabe’s acid-tongued spokesman George Charamba admitted writing speeches for Chiwenga after being asked about his frequent visits to the army headquarters. You can see why there is merit in concluding that Charamba probably wrote Chiwenga’s latest speech.
It’s known even in army circles that Chiwenga is not very bright. In fact several years ago, he attempted suicide after failing a military exam that had a bearing on whether he would be promoted or not. Even disclosures by the WikiLeaks website exposed the damning appraisal of Chiwenga by his peers in the army.
Brigadier General Herbert Chingono (Inspector General of the Zimbabwe National Army) and Major General Fidelis Satuku (ZDF Director General for Policy and Personnel) who in a January 5 and 6, 2010 meeting with US ambassador Charles Ray, spoke disrespectfully about their commander.
“Chiwenga is a political general who works hard, but who has very little practical military experience or expertise. Given a choice between a military and a political issue, Chiwenga will always choose the political, because he doesn’t know enough about the military to be comfortable discussing it.”
But back to Chiwenga and his 14 year marriage to Jocelyn. Last year the High Court barred the media from reporting details of the high profile divorce case. The scary details of their two affidavits were leaked to the media somehow and the contents were enough to use for a blockbuster Nollywood movie.
Chiwenga claimed he was driven away from their matrimonial home because she subjected him to ‘violent beatings’. The army general 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 claimed.
“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 claimed.
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.
Jocelyn demanded $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.
In November 2011, 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.
According to court documents, on the 23rd of May 2002, Jocelyn arrived at Shepherd Hall Farm outside Harare with a gang armed with AK47 rifles and ordered the farm’s white owner, Roger Staunton, to turn over his property to her or be killed. “I have not tasted white blood for 20 years,” she yelled at him.
When Staunton offered a handshake “she told me she had no intention of shaking hands with a white pig,” the farmer said. “She stated that she had not tasted white blood since 1980 (independence) and missed the experience, and that she needed just the slightest excuse to kill somebody,” said Staunton.
“She ordered one of her guards to ‘kill the white bastards’,” he said. The gunman cocked his weapon, but did not open fire, one report says.
In 2003 Jocelyn Chiwenga beat up Daily News lawyer Gugulethu Moyo, at a police station in Glen View. The lawyer had gone there to represent the paper’s photographer who had been arrested while covering a planned mass action. Jocelyn slapped Moyo in the face and twisted her arm.
The assault continued outside the police station, carried out by both Jocelyn and one Kelvin Chadenyika. Moyo was punched, kicked and hit many times. Police officers present witnessed the attack but did not intervene. “Your paper wants to encourage anarchy in this country,” Jocelyn yelled at the lawyer.
In 2008 Jocelyn harangued and harassed 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 left shop shelves empty.
She caused a scene at Makro Wholesalers 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, including Kumbirai Mafunda, sustained minor injuries in the ensuing fracas.
If General Chiwenga is looking for “a psychiatric patient who needs a competent psychiatrist” then he need not look further than his wife of 14 years, Jocelyn Mauchaza-Chiwenga, the former waitress at Jobs Nightspot.