Esinathy Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
AN illicit love affair between a Roman Catholic priest from Bulawayo and a secret lover that resulted in pregnancy and payment of lobola has been exposed after the clergyman tried to bed the woman’s mother.
Catholic priests are sworn to celibacy.
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.
Speaking exclusively to The Chronicle, Ms Moyo opened up about the affair saying they fell in love before he told her that he was a priest and she only discovered the truth when she was already madly in love with him.
She supplied this newspaper with numerous pictures of the two in compromising positions as well as when they were on holiday in South Africa.
There are also pictures of the priest with the woman’s family members that include her grandmother, child from a previous relationship and an uncle.
The Chronicle is also in possession of their WhatsApp conversations.
Ms Moyo said she was in a romantic relationship with the priest for more than a year before he decided to pay lobola.
In the beginning some family members were against the union, only for them to warm up to him as he helped them.
“When I started dating him, he did not tell me that he was a priest. I later found out but couldn’t break up with him because I loved him.
I fell pregnant and we decided to get married. My family was shocked at first but accepted the relationship for my happiness,” she said.
“I protected him and kept our marriage a secret to the extent of having conflicts with some of my family members who were not accepting us.
Our marriage was one of the ideal ones. He won everyone’s heart to the extent that even my brother blessed our union.”
Ms Moyo said she suffered a miscarriage in January this year.
The couple is now having problems and Ms Moyo said it was caused by Father Ncube’s attempt to have sex with her mother.
“We used to have petty squabbles just like any other couple but for him to try and have sex with my biological mother broke my heart.
Although he is apologising, it is hard to forget,” she said.
Ms Moyo said Father Ncube threw a party for her 31st birthday on August 5 and her mother came from South Africa where she is based to attend the event.
After the party, she said, they all went to the priest’s home in Njube suburb and that is where he sneaked into his mother in-law’s blankets while everyone was sleeping.
“He left our room for the toilet and delayed coming back. I had to follow him to see what was going on. When I passed the room where my mother was sleeping, I saw that my mother had company. I opened the door and I saw him in bed naked,” Ms Moyo said.
She said he apologised saying he thought it was their bedroom.
Right now the relationship has gone sour and Ms Moyo alleges that the priest has moved on with another girl.
“Since we fought, I have been receiving calls from a girl threatening me to leave Fernando alone. She claims that she is in a relationship with him,” she said.
Ms Moyo said she has long sought the intervention of other priests to no avail.
When Ms Moyo’s mother, Melody Ndlovu, was contacted by The Chronicle, she sent an audio recording confirming that Father Ncube sneaked into her blankets while she was asleep, apparently tipsy, at his church residence on the night of the party.
“Fernando paid lobola and we have the records as proof of payment. He paid isivulamlomo, kangaziwe and part of the lobola,” she said.
However, Father Ncube denied having an affair with Ms Moyo.
He said he knew her from “their residential area” in Luveve, something Ms Moyo dismissed.
Father Ncube said: “She is lying. I’m not married. She is trying to drag my name into the mud because we are having a misunderstanding. I lent her US$1 000 and $900 bond notes for her to kick start her money changing business. She is now refusing to pay back.”
He said Ms Moyo has been threatening him to stop asking for the money or else she humiliates him.
When he was shown pictures of him with Ms Ncube in compromising positions, he remained adamant that he was nothing other than a friend to her.—@esinathy_essira