A STORM is brewing in the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) amid reports that senior army officers are bringing in second or third wives from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), much to the chag
rin of their Zimbabwean wives who are now seeking the intervention of army chief, General Constantine Chiwenga.
The emotionally charged women this week telephoned the Zimbabwe Independent expressing disgust at the behaviour of the officers concerned who they described as “worse than dogs and pigs”. They vowed to drive out the foreign women “by any means necessary because we cannot watch helplessly while these women destroy our homes”.
The wives said they had reported the matter to Chiwenga but he had reportedly taken no action. “Now we will take the law into our own hands,” vowed one of the women.
Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Munjerenje, the secretary to Chiwenga, confirmed that the women had filed a complaint with the general’s wife, Jocelyn Chiwenga. But Munjerenje was asked to deal with the matter.
“What they are saying is not wholly true,” Lt Col Munjerenje said. “They have telephoned me on several occasions and I have asked to meet them and discuss with them but they are refusing. As much as you know, we have withdrawn from the DRC and there is no such thing happening.”
But the women insisted that there were soldiers still stationed in the DRC who were airlifting women and bringing them into the country through Manyame Air Base. They named top officers who had recently married concubines from the DRC including a major general and two lieutenant-colonels.
Shocked by the arrival of the two DRC women, one wife is said to have suffered acute hypertension “because she is failing to come to terms with the new arrangement”.
Munjerenje said a lieutenant-colonel named had since left the force but confirmed that the other two men were still serving officers. He said there was no way the officers could have imported wives from the DRC now.
“At the height of the DRC operation, yes it used to happen. But the ZDF intervened and nipped the rot in the bud,” Munjerenje said. “There were a number of security measures that were introduced, for example the methods of boarding planes were changed and as such there were no women who could be transferred to Zimbabwe when they were not authorised.”