A Mutare man says spending much of his time praying in the mountains cost him his marriage.
Albert Muponda believes that his faith failed to save his marriage as his wife, Grace Mavhera, could not tolerate his endless prayers in the mountains.
However, Mavhera said she opted out of the marriage for health reasons as Muponda was barring her from seeking medical attention.
This emerged at the Mutare Civil Court as Muponda was applying for a protection order against his ex-wife, Grace Mavhera, and his sister-in-law, Beauty Mavhera.
The parties appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Xavier Chipato.
Muponda stated that Grace left him as she could not tolerate the way he prays.
“We were married for two years. When I took her as my wife, l knew that she could easily be manipulated by other people. She begged me to help her develop a closer relationship with God. However, her decision to leave me might have been influenced by her friends,” said Muponda.
He said Grace and Beauty are in the habit of harassing and intimidating his new wife.
“They came to my house threatening to assault my new wife. We are now living in fear. I have moved on and I do not want to see her at my place of residence,” he said.
Muponda also claimed that the two sisters threatened to abduct him during his prayer sessions in the mountains.
“I am now afraid to go for my usual prayers in the mountains as they threatened to kidnap me,” said Muponda. He added that it only took Grace two days to move in with another man after she left her matrimonial home.
“What kind of a woman moves in with another man two days after ending another relationship? This shows that she was using my house as her love nest while I was busy with my prayers,” said Muponda.
He also said Grace did not disclose her HIV status to him.
“She would leave her medication at her friend’s house. I later discovered the ARVs in our house. I do not know what made her leave them home that day,” said Muponda.
In response, Grace said Muponda is spreading false allegations against her.
She also said she left her personal belongings at Muponda’s house and he is refusing to surrender them to her.
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Grace said she opted out of the marriage due to Muponda’s abusiveness.
“He would not allow me to go to the clinic. I started feeling weak in 2020 and was unable to work. I told my husband that I was not feeling well, but he said he would pray for me. I told my sister and she gave me money to go to the clinic. That’s when I tested HIV positive. I started taking my medication,” said Grace.
“I was afraid to disclose my status to my husband as he had barred me from visiting the hospital. I had to leave my medication at my sister’s house where I would secretly take it. One day I gathered enough courage to let the cat out of the bag so that we could be on medication together as a couple, but he fumed and assaulted me.
“I had to leave my marriage because my health matters most. If his beliefs bar him from seeking medical attention, then he should stay like that alone,” she said.
Her sister, Beauty, chipped in: “I warned my sister not to marry this man but she spurned my advice. Now look where this has landed us.”
Mr Chipato granted the protection order in Muponda’s favour.
The order is valid for five years.