Background

In Zimbabwe about 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.[1]


Gender-based violence in Zimbabwe is steadily becoming a normalized part of Zimbabwean culture with 48.6% of women between the ages of 15-24 years believing that “wife-beating” can be “justified under at least one condition.”[2]

Prevalent forms of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe

The most common type of gender-based violence in Zimbabwe is family violence which is committed within one's family.[3]

Prominent Gender-Based Violence Cases

Constantino Chiwenga

In revealing why he was divorcing his first wife Jocelyn Jacobsen (née Mauchaza) in 2012, Constantino Chiwenga, told the High Court that he was driven away from their matrimonial home because she subjected him to ‘violent beatings’.

In one of the incidents, Chiwenga said Jocelyn once violently attacked him while he was sedated and she also pushed him off the bed.

Chiwenga said he called his physician Paul Chimedza after he fell sick. Chimedza attended to him and administered some sleeping medication.

While Dr. Chimedza watched over his drowsy patient, Jocelyn allegedly burst into the room shouting at the top of her voice. She jumped into Chiwenga’s bed and beat him up on his face with clenched fists.

Dr. Chimedza pulled Jocelyn away from Chiwenga and pleaded with her that her then-husband was genuinely ill and she should not continue assaulting him.

When Dr. Chimedza thought he had calmed Jocelyn down, she then pushed General Chiwenga off the bed. He fell to the floor and hit his head against the step of the platform on which the bed rests.

As a result of the fall, he injured the right side of his head. General Chiwenga was bruised and swollen from assaults. [4]

Learnmore Jongwe

Learnmore Jongwe stabbed his wife Rutendo Jongwe in anger during a domestic dispute. He admitted stabbing Rutendo during a domestic row but denied intending to kill her. It was reported that he suspected his wife of infidelity and during a row, stabbed her eight times with a kitchen knife.

Jongwe reportedly tried to commit suicide after his wife’s death but was eventually persuaded to give himself up to the police. His body was found in his cell at Harare’s Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison on 24 October 2002.

Rutendo's family accused Jongwe’s lawyer Jonathan Samukange of making up the infidelity story in Jongwe’s defence, with Rutendo's brother insisting that it was the former MDC politician who was an unfaithful husband who regularly assaulted his wife.[5]

Soul Jah Love

In January 2018, Zimdancehall musician Soul Jah Love assaulted his then-wife Bounty Lisa, alleging she had been impregnated by a city drug dealer.

Bounty Lisa said Soul Jah Love attacked her with fists and an iron bar despite the fact that she did not know the drug dealer in question and was not pregnant at all.

After a lengthy counselling session, Bounty Lisa decided to give Soul Jah Love another chance.

The police asked the couple to deposit a signed affidavit with them, empowering them to press charges against Soul Jah Love should any similar mishap arise. The couple's marriage was shortlived as they eventually divorced.[6]

Seh Calaz

In June 2017 there were reports that Seh Calaz had assaulted his then live-in girlfriend Moira Knight after she had taken his phone. Narrating the ordeal Moira said:

He first assaulted me the day of his video launch and the latest incident was on Wednesday after I took his cellphone and I asked him for his password so I could browse through.He refused with it and when I asked him why he was refusing he grabbed me by the hand and put my head between his legs and started beating me up. My whole body was injured and especially my breast, left chin and my thighs and I had to go to the hospital.

[7]

Organisations That Help GBV Victims In Zimbabwe

References

  1. Gender-based violence, UNFPA, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  2. ELIMINATING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN ZIMBABWE, Borgen Project, Published: September 26, 2020, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  3. Luckson Mashiri, Conceptualisation of Gender Based Violence in Zimbabwe, International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Vol. 3 No. 15; August 2013, Published: August 2013, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  4. General Chiwenga fled beatings from his wife, Nehanda Radio, Published: October 10, 2012, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  5. Learnmore Jongwe controversy re-ignited, The Zimbabwean, Published: October 26, 2009, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  6. Dakarai Mashava, Soul Jah Love goes beserk, assaults wife Bounty Lisa, Nehanda Radio, Published: January 18, 2018, Retrieved: December 28, 2020
  7. Adoration Bizure, Seh Calaz assaults lover, Nehanda Radio, Published: June 12, 2017, Retrieved: December 28, 2020