Family continue fight to get custody back from Mnangagwa’s son
The family of 23-year-old, Almarie Hall, who had an affair with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son, Kudakwashe David Mnangagwa, continue their fight to get back custody of the child that was born from the extra-marital affair that started when she was only 19 years old.
Mnangagwa was then 30 years old and already had 4 children (all boys) with his wife Rashida before he met 19 year old Almerie. She fell pregnant a year later and gave birth to a baby girl (Harmony Anani Mnangagwa).
Last month it was reported that Mnangagwa won custody of the child with the courts issuing a default judgement after it was reported the mother and her lawyer arrived late to court by some 30 minutes.
Controversial magistrate Lazini Ncube, infamous for a host of dodgy rulings over the years, presided over the case and said he had relied on an adverse report by a social worker that claimed Almerie had a long history of drug abuse and therefore was an unsuitable mother.
But a source who spoke to Nehanda Radio insists Mnangagwa used his influence as the son of the president to coerce the social worker into writing a damning report.
They claim Mnangagwa was furious that Almerie had ended the affair and had threatened that he would take the baby away if she did not come back to the flat he was renting for her in Harare.
“David did this because she left him… he has money and power. He vowed to punish her and this is exactly what has happened,” the source said.
Nehanda Radio understands from another source that Zimbabwean Islamic Scholar, Ismail ibn Musa Menk, also known as Mufti Menk, played a prominent role in mediating the marital crisis that exploded when Mnangagwa confessed to his wife Rashida about the affair.
Magistrate Ncube also came in for some stinging criticism from another source who told Nehanda Radio, “Lazini Ncube he is a captured magistrate and they use him to do all the dirty work for the regime. That’s why they give him all these high profile cases.”
“As you can see he is also the same magistrate who is dealing with the case involving Marry Mubaiwa (Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s estranged wife) and has on countless times been used to pass adverse judgements against opposition officials who are being persecuted.”
Mnangagwa’s lawyer, Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, however painted a different picture while defending his client.
Chinyoka told Nehanda Radio; “the allegation that a “Mnangagwa influenced the courts to his advantage” is an easy one to make. But, the sad reality is that the court simply had to decide who, between two young people, provided the best environment in which the best interests of an innocent child would be served.
“On the one side was a father who has glowing recommendations from everyone who knew the child, including the child’s own maternal grandmother. On the other hand was a mother whose own witnesses (including her own mother, the grandmother) said was so drug addled that she could one day sell the child into sex slavery for drugs. It was an easy choice for the court to make,” Chinyoka added.
A family representative however told Nehanda Radio the narrative “spun” by Chinyoka was choreographed to help Mnangagwa and that the grandmother had never said those words.
“The Judges talk about equal rights but deny Almarie access to even see Harmony Mnangagwa. So much hearsay. How could she respond to an Affidavit if she was never given the opportunity…!
“There is nothing worse in life to be told your parent was bad or not good enough and never loved you…. there is good in everyone, we all not perfect and love is one of the greatest things in life we should never deny another human being of,” the family representative told Nehanda Radio.
As things stand, both the mother and grandmother have no access to the child and the Mnangagwa camp does not appear (at least for now) to be interested in negotiating, having won full custody of the child.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Chinyoka maintains the family simply want to politicise the matter.
“Her notice of appeal at the High Court reads like an NGO position paper on custody arrangements in Zimbabwe. In fact, it would have served better as a letter to the baby’s grandfather about reforming custody laws than an appeal for the custody of this particular child.
“It was full of position statements and empty on what mattered: in whose custody were the child’s best interests better served. Even now, the fact that this matter is in the press and not in court shows the same disturbing mindset: it plays well to trash a “Mnangagwa” than to deal with the issue at hand: getting sober,” Chinyoka said.
Another lawyer who spoke to Nehanda Radio on condition of anonymity said “The family never stood a chance from Day 1. No magistrate in their right mind can rule against President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son.
“Look at what happened to former High Court Judge Justice Erica Ndewere who defied instructions from the top and granted bail to main opposition MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala.
“They suspended the judge, stripped her of her benefits, set up a kangaroo disciplinary hearing which convicted her without any evidence. There is no chance any judge will rule against Kudakwashe David Mnangagwa,” the lawyer added. Nehanda Radio