A Mutare woman who was offered to a widower as his “chimutsamapfihwa” is now fighting with her uncle-cum-husband’s new wife.
According to Shona tradition, Chimutsamapfihwa is a woman’s younger sister or niece who is offered to her husband upon her death.
The contention between the two women came to light at Mutare Civil Courts last week on Thursday when the chimutsamapfihwa, Elizabeth Makate, applied for a protection order against Mercy Kamangaise, accusing her of taking away her husband.
Makate told the court that she went to replace her late aunt five years after her death, only to discover that the man (name not revealed in court) had remarried.
Makate and Kamangaise appeared before Mutare magistrate, Xavier Chipato.
Makate pleaded with the court to bar Kamangaise from meeting with her husband. She said:
This woman is very persistent. She visits my husband every morning before he leaves for work intending to prepare breakfast for him.
She calls him unnecessarily and visits him even at midnight.
I feel she is harassing my husband because I have never seen him entertaining her. Whenever I ask him about their relationship, he tells me that she is an ex-girlfriend he had after my aunt’s death.
I want her barred from communicating with him. He is my husband and mine alone.
When she was asked why her husband had not applied for the protection order if he was against Kamangaise’s actions, Makate had no answer.
In her defence, Kamangaise said she got married a year after the death of Makate’s aunt.
She said she and her husband have already built a rural home in Odzi, where she lives.
Kamangaise insisted that she was not aware that her husband had been offered a chimutsamapfihwa, saying had she known that, she wouldn’t have married him. She said:
Since my husband and his late wife had children, we agreed that I would not live at the Dangamvura house as it belongs to their children.
We built a rural home and I live there. When I come to the city, I stay in Hobhouse where he rents me a house.
Kamangaise claimed that when the Makate family learnt that their rich son-in-law had married a new wife, they decided to offer him Makate. She added:
This is causing chaos because Elizabeth does not want to share the husband, yet I was married for five years to this man before she came into his life.
She came to our rural home and destroyed my property. She removed some of my personal stuff from the bedroom, but I never complained.
In fact, I respect her as a co-wife. She should continue staying at her aunt’s house.
She should just accept me as a senior wife as I was married before her.
The magistrate granted a binding over protection order to the two women.
Chipato ordered Kamangaise and Makate not to disturb each other’s peace.
He, however, did not bar Kamangaise from visiting, calling and talking to her husband.