Chigwedere, son ordered to get paternity tests

HARARE - Former Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere has been ordered to have his son Mangwiza undergo a paternity test after the politician disowned his offspring after he accused him of practicing witchcraft.

Mangwiza has consented to the DNA tests only if they are conducted by at least two institutions and his “dad” pays for the process, as well as travel costs.

High Court judge Esther Muremba ruled in Chigwedere’s favour and ordered the son to have the paternity test done.

“It is ordered that: the respondent (Mangwiza) be and is hereby ordered to submit himself with the applicant (Chigwedere) to DNA tests for purpose of determining the respondent’s paternity within 15 days from the date of this order.

“The DNA tests shall be conducted by two suitably qualified health institutions in Harare of respondent’s own choice. The applicant to pay costs of the DNA tests and respondent’s travelling costs,” reads Muremba’s ruling, handed down on July 9, 2018.

Chigwedere and his son have been at loggerheads, with Mangwiza accusing his father — a  politician, historian, educationist, and traditional leader — of witchcraft.

Mangwiza approached the Constitutional Court seeking an order compelling the Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association (Zinatha) and the Zimbabwe National Practitioners Association (Zinpa) to exorcise Chigwedere’s alleged goblins which he said were terrorising the family in their rural area of Wedza in Mashonaland East Province. This prompted Chigwedere to question his son’s paternity.

“Among the various reasons that prompted myself to approach the honourable court for such relief, is the fact that, the respondent’s birth, childhood have always been surrounded with various family issues which always cast suspicion and doubt on whether or not he really is my biological son.

“Sadly, it has now become critical that the issue be resolved as we both now have competing rights and interest regarding the devolution of my estate in the event of my demise. Hence, my approaching this court,”  the former resident minister and governor of Mashonaland East Province, said.

Chigwedere further said the witchcraft allegations had prompted him “to seek the court’s help in establishing genetic proof whether I am truly the respondent’s biological father, as I am of the view that a scientific determination of the respondent’s paternity would materially assist in the matter pending (then) before the Constitutional Court.

“I have been subjected to emotional stress raised by frivolous and vexatious allegations of witchcraft against myself by the respondent,” Chigwedere, who is also headman Svosve Mubayiwa, said.

Mangwiza claims in his court papers that he was convinced that his father and stepmother were practising witchcraft and or sorcery, or incorrect cultural procedures that had tormented the whole clan causing deaths, misery, ill-health and mental anguish.

He said this has resulted in him and other family members to flee Wedza, but have not been spared either way.

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