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Fresh twist in witchcraft case. . . ex-minister Chigwedere demands paternity test

By Daniel Nemukuyu

Former Education Minister Dr Aeneas Chigwedere, accused of witchcraft by “his son” Mangwiza, has approached the High Court seeking to subject his accuser to a paternity test to establish his fatherhood.

Wedza Zanu PF MP David Musabayana (right) seen here with Aeneas Chigwedere (left).
Wedza Zanu PF MP David Musabayana (right) seen here with Aeneas Chigwedere (left).

Mr Mangwiza Chigwedere made headlines in the media last year accusing the politician and traditional leader of witchcraft and the legal battle is still pending at the Constitutional Court.

On Monday, Dr Chigwedere filed the latest court challenge arguing that he was doubting Mangwiza’s paternity and that a DNA test would establish the truth.

The politician pledged to pay the costs of the paternity test and he prefers the test to be conducted at the National Blood Transfusion Services in Harare. In the application, Dr Chigwedere said he has doubted Mangwiza’s paternity since birth because his mother was unfaithful to him.

“Since birth of the respondent, I have had doubts about his paternity. My suspicion was based on the fact that the respondent’s mother had not been faithful.

“However, I assumed the rights and responsibilities of parenthood over him, with the intention of resolving this issue of paternity through cultural means, something which I regrettably delayed doing,” reads the politician’s founding affidavit.

Dr Chigwedere indicated in his affidavit that the suspicion was worsened by Mangwiza’s behaviour over the past years that saw the two clashing over witchcraft accusations.

“Respondent, however, throughout part of his childhood and adulthood has been acting out in a way that brought up the question of whether or not he really is my biological child.

“I have been subjected to emotional stress raised by frivolous and vexatious allegations of witchcraft against myself by the respondent.

“These allegations have now spilled to the courts and the matter is currently pending in the Constitutional Court under Case Number CCZ8/16.

“These allegations have prompted me to seek this court’s help in establishing genetic proof whether I am truly the respondent’s biological father as I am of the view that a scientific determination of the respondent’s paternity would materially assist in the matter pending before the Constitutional Court,” reads Dr Chigwedere’s affidavit.

Dr Chigwedere submitted that a paternity test would also assist in establishing Mangwiza’s true identity considering that he was viewed to be a potential beneficiary of the politician’s estate in the event of death.

He argued that a minor infringement of Mangwiza’s right to privacy should not trump the discovery of the truth in the best interests of the administration of justice.

Dr Chigwedere said he has faced resistance from Mangwiza with regards to the paternity test, hence the court should intervene and compel him to be tested.

Masawi & Partners Legal Practitioners are representing Dr Chigwedere in the court application. Mangwiza is yet to respond to the court application. If Mangwiza opposes the application, the politician will seek an order for costs against him. The Herald