A Bulawayo woman complained to the civil court that she was tired of her marriage because her husband is in the habit of verbally and physically abusing her in full view of their five children.
Esther Muchichwa from Romney Park suburb informed presiding magistrate Tinashe Tashaya that her husband Lameck Tima forces their children to watch him while beating her up.
She said their children were now traumatised and living in constant fear as a result of watching her being abused.
“I am customarily married to Lameck Tima since 1992 and our marriage is blessed with five children. He became abusive in 2003 when he started beating me up and insulting me. Whenever I asked him about his whereabouts. This is because he would spend days and sometimes months away from home without us knowing where he would be. When he returned home, he would demand money from me and when I refused to give him, he turned violent and beats me up,” Muchichwa complained.
She added: “The abuse is perpetrated in full view of our children, whom he forced to come and watch as he beat me up. In April this year, he struck me with gate keys on the head and I fell unconscious. I have been reporting him to his family but nothing was done to assist me and that is why I decided to seek help from the court”.
She further told the court that they were now sleeping in separate bedrooms with her husband before she begged the court to order him to go and stay at their other house in Njube suburb.
“I am tired of the marriage as all efforts to live in peace have failed. I am living in constant fear and as a result we have decided to sleep in separate bedrooms,” she said.
In a counter-response, Tima through his lawyer prayed for a reciprocal order saying he was also a victim of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his wife.
“We are not against her application for a protection order. What we want is a reciprocal one that will bind both of them as the applicant (Muchichwa) is also verbally and physically abusing the respondent (Tima)”.
In his judgment the magistrate ordered both parties not to verbally, emotionally and physically abuse each other.