A DAY after Valentine’s Day, February 14, a teary mother of four spoke of the anguish her businessman husband of 30 years has been subjecting her to.
Opperess Chaka from Newton West in Bulawayo claimed she suffered two decades of abuse at the hands of her husband Andrew Chaka who is sleeping with a knife under his pillow.
Opperess said her blissful marriage turned into a nightmare when her husband started abusing her in 1998. Details of her ordeal which will apparently touch the hearts of many emerged at the Bulawayo Civil Court, last week.
“I am married to Andrew Chaka under the Marriages Act Chapter 5:11 and it still subsists. We got married in August 1990 and our marriage is blessed with four children of which one is still a minor. My husband has been violent since 1998 and all attempts of engaging relatives and police have been in vain.
“The latest incident of abuse was in December last year. He uses denigrating words to insult me in the presence of our children and tenants. On 3 February this year he also beat up our 14-year-old son using fists for no apparent reason.
“My husband is making threats of death at me to an extent of placing a kitchen knife under a pillow as we sleep. I have since moved out of the bedroom as a way of protecting myself from his violence and forced sex.
“I am now living in fear as a result of his conduct and I want the court to grant me a protection order against my husband so that he stops abusing me,” said a visibly worried Opperess.
She said her husband abused her in various ways, which made her think that she was a lesser mortal.
Recalling the other time her husband emotionally scarred her, she said:
“He has a problem of proposing love to my relatives. He once fell in love with my sister and when I confronted him over that, he keenly apologised before he tried to appease me with a beast and I refused. I am now fed up with his abuse and I no longer love him,” she said.
Andrew refuted the accusations, saying the problems bedevilling their marriage were “common” to all people living as couples.
“The challenges we have are in every marriage. We always argue as a couple. However, problems started when I discovered that she has been constantly communicating with another man Chiwakata, who is in New Zealand.
Another issue is that she has moved out of our matrimonial bedroom,” said Andrew.
Meanwhile, Opperess insisted that the man in question — Chiwakata was their family friend.
In his judgment, the presiding magistrate Franklin Mkwananzi ordered Andrew not to threaten his wife with any form of violence and chase her from the matrimonial home.