Two Harare women, who are in a polygamous marriage take turns to sleep in their one-roomed house, with the other sleeping outside whenever their shared husband is home. This matter came to light at the Harare Civil Court yesterday, when Gracious Zwanda made an application for a protection order against co-wife Nyaradzo Siyakhula, saying she no longer wanted to live under the same roof with her.
“I don’t want to stay with her anymore because she dated my husband while she was fully aware he was married to me,” she said.
Zwanda also told the court Siyakhula was in the habit of destroying her property whenever she (Siyakhula) had a dispute with their husband.
“Whenever she has a disagreement with our husband, she enters the room and destroys my property,” she said.
In response, Siyakhula said it would be unfair for her to leave the matrimonial room because she had moulded bricks for its construction.
“I cannot be evicted from that room because I laboured together with the builders and I also paid the builders with my own money,” she said.
The court further heard that each time the women’s husband was home for the night, Zwanda and Siyakhula took turns to sleep outside the house.
“The bed that we take turns to share with our husband is actually mine, so I cannot leave the place,” Siyakhula said.
In her ruling, magistrate Gamuchirai Siwardi ordered Siyakhula not to verbally or physically abuse Zwanda, but said she would not give an eviction order.
“I won’t evict her from the matrimonial home because she is still married to your husband. If I do that, I will have granted a divorce,” Siwardi said.
“If you want to evict her, make an application for an eviction order.