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We let her down: we should hang our heads in shame!

28 Mar 2020 at 19:23hrs | Views
Its high time we put our act together and we assist our daughter Chantelle Muteswa dear Zimbabwean women. We can't let the girl fight such a brutal war on her own without assistance from Zimbabwe women's organisations. That interview Chantelle Muteswa gave today with the Media in Harare should put all of us who call ourselves women activists in shame. If we are not vocal currently in her life's trying situation, she was brutalized by the father of her son and as if it was not enough, the man snatched her son away from her: what stories catch our attention then and move us to act? When do we say, this story is worthy of Zimbabwe's women organisation if Chantelle's saga we have before us does not make us rise to act on her behalf? At least some emotional support would go a long way in comforting her, knowing that she is not alone in all this live drama with nerve-racking trauma she is going through. We women of Zimbabwe are absent: Zwla, Wcoz, Women in coalition Zimbabwe, where are you!

Are we women in Zimbabwe comfortable in our skins seeing a young woman putting up a fight like no other to get her son back, snatched away by Buyanga? I am sure most of us in these women's organisations are mothers. Have we ever thought through the whole story and imagined it was ME. I am sure that interview will bring many women to tears. When I saw her crying, I cried too. Crying is good, but we need action from Zimbabwe women's organisation and put sense in our unruly and deranged men who think they own the Zimbabwe justice system.

I am deeply concerned about us Zimbabwean women and how we view each other as women especially when one of us is in distress. Women's organisations are organisations that are meant to speak on behalf of other women in distress, especially young vulnerable women. I do not see any solidarity coming from the women's groups in Zimbabwe in the case of Chantelle Muteswa. We should be ashamed of ourselves for letting such a young woman down. Chantelle is literally crying for assistance and we refuse her that much as women. Chantelle is kicking and screaming, and we do not hear her cries! How fearful are we of the powers that be to let a young woman down, no emotional support of any kind is visible coming from women's organisations?

When the First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa had marital problems with her husband or she had challenges with her security details, the women's organisation never said a word. Again, there was a case going on regarding Senator Tambudzani Mohadi and her divorce with her deranged husband, Kembo Mohadi: The Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe; we did not hear a word from the women's organisation. We took it that those were high profile cases that would scare anyone living inside Zimbabwe to act or utter any word. But curiously, Mrs. Sithokozile Chamisa was humiliated by her husband at a rally in Harare. Suddenly the women's organisations were present. Somehow, they saw the humiliation of Thoko. The women's organisations were active once more. They spoke loudly and demanded to hear from President Chamisa why he did what he did, to humiliate his wife at the glare of the cameras. They needed answers from Chamisa. Really! What about Senator Tambudzani who was nearly shot with a gun by her husband? Her house was broken into using an axe. Did we hear a word coming from the women's group in Zimbabwe? What about Merry Chiwenga, did we hear anything from the women's organisations?

Again, coming to Mrs. Merry Chiwenga's dramatic divorce with her husband, Merry did not get enough support from women in Zimbabwe, I must say. Curiously Merry's case received sympathy mostly from Zimbabwean men of all classes. I remember reading Trevor Ncube's Twitter: he said, what is happening to Merry can happen to anyone. Recently, this women's holy month of March, there was a video that circulated and made rounds: a video of a man who was in total support of Merry Chiwenga. Here is a Zimbabwean man quoting CEDAW, a Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women. He based his argument on this convention, this really touched me but at the same time disappointed that our women's organisations, well versed with this convention, do not give any kind of solidarity, even slender one to Mrs Merry Chiwenga as a woman.  

Zimeye social media has been working on these stories for some time now. He gave several publicities about Merry Chiwenga and Chantelle Muteswa. He is, again, highlighting the case of Chantelle Muteswa and her brutal assault by her former lover on his social media: twitter and Facebook. We give applause to comrade Simba. These are men among men who have the courage to stand for the rights of women in a men-dominated, patriarchal society like our own. We encourage you Simba and many of your kind to continue stand to stand on our side and assist us in fighting domestic abuse in our Zimbabwean societies.

I am indeed humbled by that kind of moral and emotional assistance coming from our menfolk. Many women instead, vilified Merry, called her all sorts of names we can think of. The moment a woman is involved in a divorce in Zimbabwe, the H-word automatically comes in to the divorcing woman and not the man. A man can never be a "Hure" (Whore) by Zimbabwe standards. It is not surprising to find that it is the women in most cases who will be using that "Hure-Word" to insult another woman in distress. There is a place in hell for women; a place where all women who treat other women badly or speak ill of other women will be sent. Vayiskwe munzwimbo yekutambudzika.

Curiously, this lack of solidarity among women is mostly found in African societies and families equally. African women are hard on other African women and very judgemental too. If an African woman is not in trouble of any kind, her language use becomes polarized; she is quick to judge. If anything, we should learn from other societies about solidarity with women against patriarchy and all other forms domestic violence against women. Solidarity with women did not mean necessarily agreeing with the way of life of that woman at all. Solidarity is above any form of judgement and confines of diverse ways of life. In solidarity with other women, we should see a woman who is in distress and not her lifestyle before she was in trouble.

Chantelle Muteswa needs our genuine support today. We must be there for her even if we cannot assist tangibly, some emotional assistance will go a long way in comforting her in her distress. What is happening to Chantelle can also happen to any other woman in Zimbabwe: said Trevor Ncube. We have seen what happened to Senator Tambudzani Mohadi. We have just witnessed a nasty divorce still on-going case of the Chiwengas. Let's trust our instincts dear ladies. Our voices carry a lot of power. Let's stand up for women in distress they need our irrevocable support to maintain their sanity in times of such adversities Chantelle finds herself in.

Our silence means a lot: it may mean we support Frank Buyanga. Frank Buyanga is failing to comprehend that he is putting his son in great risk of emotional trauma, a situation that can be solved amicably. What that child has gone through will never be made right the whole of his life. Parents do not realize the damage they inflict on the offspring they purport to fight for in the first place. This tug-of-war between Chantelle and Frank is uncalled for when we think of the damage it is doing to the growing up child they purport to love dearly.
Our justice system is failing Chantelle too. In a hungry country like Zimbabwe whereby some elements in the justice system depend on corrupt hand-outs from clients to give a boost on their merger salaries, there is hardly a chance of Chantelle ever getting justice: but her case is so easy. If the child is born out of wedlock, Frank has no right to the child. The law in this case is twisted and turned to favour clients that are financially able to corrupt those back-handed judges or magistrates in charge to execute cases.

The women's organisations are challenged to stand up for Chantelle Muteswa. How many tears should she shed until we know that she has suffered horrendous domestic abuse: just like Tambudzani Mohadi, just like Merry Chiwenga. All these women need our irrevocable support from all of us women of Zimbabwe.


Source - Nomazulu Thata
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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