A MAN from Bulawayo has called off a planned wedding after discovering his girlfriend has been sleeping with a Roman Catholic Priest behind his back.
Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy and are not supposed to have sex.
Mr McDonald Majaya (32) told The Chronicle that he was shattered when he came across WhatsApp chats between Father Itai Mangenda, who once stayed in Bulawayo but is now based in Mutare, and his sweetheart, Miss Rutendo Mudzingwa (24).
Mr Majaya said Father Mangenda has been sleeping with his girlfriend since February last year.
“I discovered that the two were in a relationship since last year and we have been having misunderstandings with my girlfriend over the issue. This is unacceptable, how can a priest who vowed not to marry interfere with my relationship?” he asked.
Mr Majaya said he had been committed to the relationship and was planning to pay lobola in two weeks.
“I don’t know what to do because right now, l’m really hurt. This is disturbing especially considering that l was putting my all into the relationship and was thinking of paying something (lobola) in April,” he said.
Mr Majaya said the clergyman’s brother, also a priest from Bulawayo staying in Matsheumhlope suburb, Father Joe Mangenda, tried to bribe him to stop him from exposing the illicit relationship.
“His brother first offered me US$300 and l rejected it. He even increased the offer to $500 but l could not trade my life for that. This is my life for goodness’ sake,” he said.
The Chronicle is in possession of WhatsApp chats where Miss Mudzingwa was asking for forgiveness from Mr Majaya after he discovered the affair.
“Ndakakutadzira and l am sorry (I wronged you and l am sorry). I was used by evil spirits but l just pray you understand me,” said Miss Mudzingwa in the chat.
“Dai usina kurara hako napriest. Hautye Mwari? (If only you had not slept with the priest, don’t you fear God?),” responded Mr Majaya in the chat.
Contacted for comment, Father Mangenda initially said he did not know Miss Mudzingwa. He later changed his story when this reporter told him she had evidence of the affair. “I know her as a believer and l once went to their home to visit her sick grandmother. The correct position is that l am not dating her, she is just a friend unless if befriending people has become a crime,” he said.
Asked about the Whatsapp chats, Father Mangenda insisted that they were just friends.
“The problem is with the girl. If people are over-excited they start thinking that they are in love but that’s not the case. I am her priest and she is a believer,” he said.
The clergyman begged The Chronicle not to publish the story, saying it would tarnish his image.
“Please do not write such stories. Imagine they will be read everywhere and that will tarnish my image. This is a planned lie meant to tarnish my image,” he said.
Miss Mudzingwa said she admitted to having an affair with the priest because Mr Majaya threatened her.
“This is something old, we talked about it and it was solved. He (Majaya) threatened me, so l just admitted it. Otherwise there is nothing going on between us,” she said.
Asked about the WhatsApp chats, Miss Mudzingwa started crying and begged this newspaper not to publish the story.
“Please do not put my reputation at stake. Maybe Majaya wants me dead that’s why he’s giving you this story. I also have a family and what do you think they will say?” she asked.
Last year, a love affair between a Roman Catholic priest from Bulawayo and a secret lover that resulted in pregnancy and payment of lobola was exposed after the clergyman tried to bed the woman’s mother.
Father Fernando Ncube (43) of St Pius church in Njube suburb allegedly customarily married Ms Bridget Moyo (31) last year and the two kept their relationship a secret to the world, until she felt betrayed.