OPPOSITES don’t attract when it comes to worship, apparently.
A National University of Science and Technology (Nust) lecturer is at the centre of an abuse storm following sensational revelations by his wife that he was denying her the right to pray with their children at home.
Faith Mtisi claimed her husband Samson Mtisi was denying her the right to worship with children at the church — End Time Message — they have been attending since they got married.
She revealed this at the Bulawayo Civil Court where she was seeking a protection order against her husband while accusing him of emotionally and economically abusing her.
Through her lawyer, Faith said the abuse had made her “a slave” in her marriage where she was supposed to be an equal partner.
“I am married to Samson Mtisi. He has been emotionally and economically abusing me and the children. He denies me the right to worship with children at the church we have been attending since we got married. He also took from me the car which I had been using to ferry children to school and do other family business.
“He is such a person who does not accept other people’s views. This has made me a slave in my marriage where I am supposed to be an equal partner. We cannot budget together and this has resulted in an economic abuse by him.
“He denies me adequate food. To buy certain items of choice I want, thus he wants me to go by his choices. He also denies me the right to pray with the children at home,” complained Faith.
Samson, however, accused his wife’s church elders and pastors of ill-advising her by giving her an impression that he was a “devil”. Through his lawyer, Samson accused his wife of abusing the court process with her application bent on “fixing” him.
“I have never denied anyone the right to worship particularly the applicant (Faith). In fact the applicant can confirm that she attends the church of her choice undisturbed and unhindered by myself.
“With regard to the minor children, there is no doubt that I am endowed with guardianship rights at law and I have the duty to choose where the children worship, of course with consultation with the applicant but such authority is vested with me and applicant cannot usurp such authority as the children are not out of wedlock,” reads his opposing affidavit in part.
He said the allegation of economic abuse was not an issue to be determined by the civil court because Faith had since approached the Maintenance Court and it was that court to decide whether such an allegation was indeed true.
“I will dispute saying bad words about the applicant’s church. In fact the church that we attend is the same church that is End Time Message although we attend different branches now. This is possibly an issue of different opinion.
“In fact it is the applicant who has been causing conflict in the house as she persistently provoked me verbally until I made a decision to leave the matrimonial home to Cowdray Park for about 14 months”.
He added: “The applicant’s conduct is unruly and unbecoming and ought to be censured by this court. It appears the applicant wants to abuse the court in the bid to fix me for our differences.
“The fact of the matter is that the applicant refuses to be a submissive wife and does not listen to any of my instructions as the husband and father of the children. The major problem is bad influence from her elders and pastors who continually defame me and give an impression of me as a “devil” which has created rift between me and my wife.
“I never denied her from using the vehicle as alleged. Suffice to mention that the vehicle in question is mine and I personally purchased same without the input of the respondent and I therefore have discretion on the use thereof”.
In his judgment the presiding magistrate Tinashe Tashaya removed the matter from the roll after the two parties’ lawyers agreed that their clients were going to be assisted through counselling.
Meanwhile, speaking to B-Metro soon after the court session, an infuriated Faith said she never consented to have the matter removed from the roll.
She accused her lawyer of betraying her trust by allegedly conniving with her husband’s lawyer to have the matter removed from the roll.
“I am not happy with what my lawyer did. I never consented to have the matter removed from the roll. I really wanted a protection order because my husband is abusing me. I am fed up with his abuse. Just imagine at times he bites me on my lips,” fumed Faith adding that she was going to lodge another application.