Retired army general sobs in court over ‘abusive’ wife, wants her in jail

Job Sikhala

HARARE – A retired army general sobbed in court on Tuesday after a court threw out domestic violence charges against his wife.

Major General Simpson Sikhulile Nyathi, 60, told magistrate Evelyn Mashavakure that his life was a living hell as he accused his wife of physical and mental abuse.

“Your worship, l’m a blind man. My life is in danger because of my wife. I’m living like I’m in a zoo. I have been to the police on several occasions, but nothing has worked out,” Nyathi said tearfully after the prosecution case collapsed.

Prosecutors had charged 38-year-old Noleen Nyathi with assault, physical abuse and intimidation.

But magistrate Mashavakure threw out the case after police inexplicably failed to record a warned and cautioned statement from the general’s wife. Mashavakure said Noleen could not be placed on remand on the strength of an incomplete docket.

Major General Nyathi, who has lost his eye sight, had been expected to take the stand as a witness for the prosecution.

He startled the gallery when he began sobbing after the case was thrown out, telling the magistrate that he needs protection from his wife – which he said he could only get if she was behind bars.

Noleen Nyathi’s lawyer Job Sikhala told reporters outside court: “The matter has died. It would be an uphill task to resuscitate it since the rule of law does not permit a person to be charged twice on the same facts.”

Sikhala told reporters that his client wants to lay rape allegations against the general.

According to Sikhala, she was Major General Nyathi’s maid for three days before he allegedly raped her in 2006 at gunpoint.

The lawyer alleges that Nyathi sneaked out as his wife slept and crept into Noleen’s bedroom as she slept at 2AM. He allegedly threatened her with death if she screamed, before raping her.

Following the alleged rape, Sikhala said the general took Noleen to live with his sister in Mainway Meadows in Waterfalls, where she was allegedly monitored by military intelligence officers.

“Major General Nyathi’s wife passed on in October 2006, barely two months after the rape ordeal and he proceeded to Mainway Meadows to collect Noleen before he imposed her as his wife. He facilitated the registration of a customary marriage in 2011 to hide the abuse,” Sikhala said.

Sikhala maintained that Noleen reported several cases of abuse at Marlborough Police Station starting in 2011, but police officers refused to open a docket on the grounds that they were “junior to Nyathi”.

The former soldier allegedly used his army rank to “instill fear in police officers..”

As a colonel in the Zimbabwe National Army, Nyathi was named in a 2001 United Nations report as one of the players in Cosleg Private Limited, a company linked to the military top brass which was implicated in the plunder of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo when Zimbabwe intervened to push back a rebel advance on Kinshasa. – ZimLive

%d bloggers like this: