Matonga a ‘bed-hopper’: Wife

Anne, who is distressed and easily breaks down in tears when her troubled marriage to Bright Matonga is mentioned, has implored the High Court to censure the politician heavily for what she terms “gross marital misconduct”.

She says the Zanu PF politician deserted her and their child, Farai Mandishona Matonga, in May last year.
Anne, who is in Zimbabwe on a residency permit which does not allow her to work, says they live on charity.

Anne provides damning revelations about the man who was at the forefront of defending the Zanu PF government before he was unceremoniously left out of the inclusive government.

She will lead evidence to show that the Zanu PF politician not only subjected her to cruel punishment and mental torture, but abused his government position as he sought to banish her from Zimbabwe.

She says Matonga unleashed CIO agents and the police in order to silence her.

The revelations are contained in divorce papers filed in the High Court. Matonga is seeking a decree of divorce in a case where both parties agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

Matonga, who married Anne in Essex County in UK on April 26, 1997 in terms of the marriage Act, is quick to admit in his papers that he committed adultery.

He, however, blames this on the British woman’s “conscious and deliberate disdain, insolence and disrespect” that led him to engage in “an improper relationship” with another woman, an association he admits led to the birth of a child while their marriage still subsisted.

Anne denies any wrongdoing, saying she played her role as a faithful wife.

She says in the papers that their marriage broke down after Matonga committed “adultery with other women, latest of which is one Sharon Mugabe who he is co-habiting with in Rolfe Valley, Borrowdale, Harare.”

Narrating her troubles, Anne says sometime in 2008, she discovered an intimate message on Matonga’s phone and when she called the woman who had sent the message, she was told to expect these “kinds of liaisons” now that “plaintiff was a big man”.

Anne says she threatened to leave but could not do so after Matonga told her that she would not see her son again. She says Matonga stayed away from home for long periods despite the fact that she was living with his “gravely ill father”. She says Matonga never even checked on the condition of his father.

At the end of May, Anne says she received a call from an unidentified woman who told her to leave the farm as she was going to marry Matonga soon.

Following investigations, she says she was able to establish that Matonga had two girlfriends, one of them who was expecting at the time.

She raised the issue with friends and relatives but Matonga refused to discuss the matter.

When he was at the farm, Anne said, Matonga started slaughtering beasts without accounting for the meat or proceeds. When she questioned him, he allegedly became abusive and at one point instructed members of the ZRP to arrest her if she “made any noise”.

Alarmed by Matonga’s behaviour, Anne brought legal proceedings against him to halt his dissipation of “assets and income in order to entertain and support his mistress”.

She says Matonga retaliated by making the farm inhabitable for her: withdrawing domestic staff, and ensuring there was no water and electricity supplies at their matrimonial home where she had stayed for six years.

She says she feels particularly hard done by Matonga because she is surviving on charity, yet she was employed “in fairly senior position and enjoyed a fairly high standard of living” in UK when they married.

“The Plaintiff at the time was a student residing in a bed-sitter with very little income,” Anne, who is an accountant by training, says in the papers.

She will testify that her parents accepted Matonga as their son, buying him a car, and also paying for its repairs.

When the couple experienced financial problems, Anne’s parents constantly came to their rescue, she says. At one time they gave them 15 000 Pounds which they used to renovate the house.

Anne will say she bore the burden of the African extended family, all for the love of Matonga. She will tell the court she brought Matonga’s father to UK, accommodated and took care of his brother, who was studying in the UK. She also welcomed his sister, who “turned up in the UK in 2000”.

In July 2002, Anne says as a faithful wife, she resigned her well-paying accountancy job, sold her UK house and followed Matonga to Zimbabwe when he was offered a job by President Robert Mugabe’s regime.

She used some of the money to buy household property in Zimbabwe, pay for family debts. Arriving at the height of the farm invasions, Anne who believed it would “strengthen her relationship” with Matonga embraced the land reform exercise and “immersed” herself into running and operating the farm in the best interests of the family. This was in spite of the fact that she is white.

She admits, in the court papers, that this attracted negative publicity and alienated her from members of her family, which will make it difficult for her to return to the UK. The Standard