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Commemorating International Women’s Day At The Traditional Court In Rusape.

By Shingirai Vambe.

The world commemorates International Women’s Day, the gains made so far and continuous engagements by women and women groups globally, Africa not spared in this technology and artificial intelligence (A I) era where people have dramatically adapted and adopted different cultures, geo-politics being another contributing factor.

Achievements made, are to liberate women from different life entangles, in most cases being compared to male counterparts. Ideology, cultural norms and religion have yielded results for both the good and the bad for the human race.

Report by International Telecommunications Union show women are technologically lagging behind, with Africa blaming western countries for cultural changes that has drastically affected marriages and family setups across the continent. Highest rates of divorce cases have been recorded, in the spirit of fighting abuse by male counterparts and not promoting promiscuity?

Ever than before, probably because of the growing population, societal changes have been exacerbated by economic hardships, and many are cases to satisfy one while injuring the other. According to statistics, men are the biggest perpetrators of abuse against women, and tables are turning.

On March 8 2024, 175km East from the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, Chief Makoni (Corgan Gwasira) of Rusape, at his shrine presided over a case of one Natasha Makuyana and Brian Duma, both in their teen age had a baby and, on this day, appeared before the Traditional Chief for cheating, Duma is demanding five (5) cows from the man, Munyaradzi, Natasha’s workmate, who is allegedly sleeping with Natasha.

Presenting his experience, evidence and daily challenges with his wife before the chief, Duma blamed Natasha’s family members for all the challenges he has and support they have for her other relationship with her workmate.

Duma told the court that all he has done was to bring order and sanity to his child and wife.
A student at Bulawayo Polytechnic, who managed to get an attachment at a local grocery shop in Rusape, saved money for lobola to marry his wife. According to the African and Zimbabwean culture, Natasha’s family members made preparations to receive and accepted the money, it was little and not enough but good for a start and sign of commitment.


After the ceremony, Duma’s expectation was to go and leave with his wife and child at the place of his choice, that was unfortunate.

“My wife refused to move in with me regardless of making these required formalities, she presents herself like a girl and having relationships with other man, ignoring the fact that we both have a kid. She sold me a dummy only to satisfy her family’s monetary needs,” added Duma.

In her defense, Natasha told the Chief that there was no relationship with Brian and he has been abusing and forcing to have sex with her, forcefully removed her clothes against her will and later apologize.

“My family members asked if I was ready to get married, urging me to first go school then later decide if I really want to get married. I agreed that I wanted to be married since we both had a kid, but reason I didn’t want to stay with him its because he is still staying with his brother,” added Natasha.

The chief later ruled and told the court that, according to our African culture, without paying lobola or required cows regarded as lobola, consider yourself not married.

“You paid the damages, not lobola, you have heard her, she said she can be in a relationship with anyone she wants because there is nothing between the two of you,” said Chief Makoni.
However, the current law and marriage Act states that if a woman and a man put in together for a period of six (6) months, the two are considered married couple. If in this case Natasha was the complainant, would the Chief give the same ruling?

Many are cases of this nature and they are increasingly shocking with many resorting to raise their kids independently, breaking a united family culture.

Tatenda Pairamanzi, student at the university of Zimbabwe said more and more women less appreciate marriage, having one man, one wife, but want to be single and getting in and out of relationships as they wish, fighting an old system that brewed abusive marriages or relationships before.

“Though it has health implications, majority of university students have kids and not married. College life has become risk for the boy child as many are tempted to get into relationships for food and money while sexual related illnesses are increasing daily,” said Pairamanzi.

More and more unreported cases of abuse are from women in affluent place, the elites and the rich, persevering all for the sake of fame, money and lifestyle and very few have managed to overcome such pressure to satisfy family members, friends and relative.

Laws have been crafted and they continue to be crafted all to support and give women the respect they deserve, however, according to the creator of human race, none is able to live without the other, men need women and women need men to sustainably survive under the sun.