Nqobile Tshili Chronicle Correspondent
A BULAWAYO woman stopped her injiva husband of 20 years from secretly marrying another woman in Parklands suburb yesterday.
Josephine Mhlanga, 42, rained on 46-year-old Ndodana Chifamba’s parade as he exchanged vows with a woman, only identified as Phindile.
The wedding couple had hired the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services band to provide entertainment to their guests.
A dramatic silence followed when the pastor asked—to the accompaniment of a drum roll from the band — if there was anyone who had a reason why Chifamba and Phindile should not get married.
“Before the pastor could even say the person should speak or forever hold their peace, a hand shot up and Chifamba gasped in shock,” said a witness at the event.
“It was his lawful wife. There was dead silence with only Chifamba stammering incoherently. His wife said he couldn’t marry another woman while she was still alive.”
The bride and the groom endured embarrassed silence until the pastor called the families to discuss the issue behind the scenes.
Family sources said Chifamba arranged the secret wedding but slept at his matrimonial home on Friday with Mhlanga.
Mhlanga, allegedly learnt of the wedding on the same day and decided to attend.
When a Chronicle news crew arrived at the scene, the Mhlanga and Chifamba families were locked in a meeting.
The Mhlangas came out of the meeting saying the wedding should not proceed until Chifamba finished paying lobola for their daughter. They said the two were customarily married.
Conception, Josephine’s sister said Chifamba was disrespectful for not disclosing to his wife that he was marrying another woman. “They’ve been together since 1995 and have two children. One is at university,” said Conception.
If Chifamba wanted to marry another wife, she said, he should first set Josephine free. “We dragged him to the Maintenance Court but for three months he hasn’t been paying.”
Josephine said although her marriage was not rosy, she kept hoping that Chifamba was going to change.
“His relatives tipped me about the wedding. They said he had emphasised to them that I shouldn’t know about it,” she said.
Josephine said Chifamba always claimed he was unemployed in South Africa, where he said he survived on piece jobs.
“Whenever he visited, he would apologise for spending a lot of time without coming home. He would tell me that he loves me, he stressed that he didn’t want to hear that I was seeing another man,” said Josephine.
Belligerent family members barred the news crew from interviewing Chifamba. Two men charged at the news crew demanding that our photographer deletes pictures that he had shot inside the venue.
The news crew learnt that Chifamba and Phindile resolved to turn the wedding celebration into an ordinary party, after the pastor told them they could not sign the marriage certificate.