By Lance Guma
ICT, Postal and Courier Services minister Webster Shamu slept with a 15-year old girl before shipping her off to the United Kingdom as part of an elaborate cover-up to avoid prosecution for statutory rape, Nehanda Radio can exclusively reveal.
The Chegutu East Zanu PF MP slept with Charity (Tapiwa) Sithole, then a schoolgirl who was about to finish her O’ Levels at the time. The affair, spread over five years, produced a child (also named Webster) who is now at the centre of a protracted maintenance battle that has sucked in the minister’s furious wife.
An exclusive audio recording obtained by Nehanda Radio features Shamu’s wife Constance Tsomondo discussing the affair with a relative of the girlfriend. Constance is heard demanding a DNA test before Minister Shamu can start supporting the child as demanded in a $10 000 a month maintenance claim.
A source told Nehanda Radio “the girlfriend and the wife have been fighting incessantly such that the wife is now calling the girlfriend’s relatives for help to stop the affair. The wife claims to be the breadwinner and the richer partner in the marriage and says the child will not be taken care of without her say so.”
In the recording Constance denies accusations that they want to take the child away from its young mother and brags that at her age she was not willing to be taking on such responsibilities. Shamu’s wife also confirms that its not the first time the Minister has cheated on her and had children outside their marriage.
Constance also accuses Charity of having a ‘big mouth’ and says this has discouraged her from wanting to help her the same way she has helped other girls who found themselves in a similar situation.
Shamu’s wife even boasts that she could have helped Charity get a place at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) even with the “inadequate points” (mentioned by the relative in the call) were it not for her “big mouth, insults and lack of respect. She is younger than my last born who is 21 and studying medicine,” she said.
The minister’s wife then says; “I don’t think it’s too much for a woman to ask for a DNA test,” adding if the results confirm that Shamu is indeed the father she will happily support the child.
Charity, now 20 years old, is studying in the United Kingdom and is a regular on the modelling circuit. Her 2-year-old son is in Zimbabwe. Nehanda Radio reached out to her for comment but she declined to speak to us telling us “giving you my side of the story will not help me in any way.”
In her maintenance claim filed in Zimbabwe, Charity is demanding $10 000 a month. She wants the Minister to sustain the life that she has been accustomed to. Shamu once paid for a mansion for her in Harare’s Mt Pleasant suburb “with maids, nannies, 24-7 guards and cameras at the gate,” our source said.
“He (Shamu) bought her a Mercedes but she had access to his personal and state cars. She used to spend some nights at his matrimonial home, which infuriated the wife even more. Charity accompanied him to most of his state and Zanu PF sponsored trips especially when he was performing his commissariat duties.
Another source told Nehanda Radio “when Webster’s wife found out about the affair she beat up the girl. She gave birth at the Trauma Center in Harare. In the end it was actually former Premier Service Medical Aid Society (PSMAS) chief executive Cuthbert Dube who got a scholarship for Charity to study in the UK.”
“Cuthbert was working with Charamba and Shamu at the time,” the source said. Shamu was Information Minister and his Permanent Secretary was George Charamba. Dube was the chairman of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) board while Charamba was also a board member of the PSMAS.