Thursday, February 22, 2018

Elizabeth Tsvangirai's current situation should be a concern to all women!

Second letter to Women of Zimbabwe: International Day of Women 2018 

Without coming to any judgement about what transpired in the events leading to President Tsvangirai's death and burial proceedings, it is easy to judge. The "judge ye not" says the holy book. We are deeply concerned about the treatment of Mrs. Tsvangirai by her in-laws during the last days of Tsvangirai's life, his death and the funeral of our fellow citizen. We women would like to say it loud that her treatment was distasteful at best not human. To put heritage (it does not matter how much is at stake) of their loved one who has passed on first before the daughter-in-law who has just lost a husband is just un-African. 

It was psycho drama that we captured in the social media: the mother-in-law was threatening to kill herself just in case she saw the sight of Elizabeth at her son's funeral. I wonder if Ambuya Tsvangirai was cognisant of the fact that her son was not only a national icon but a global well known figure, never ever down play this into a family issue. It was embarrassing even to people who are not part of this family. This kind of exposure to put money before human dignity was galling. This purging of muroora Risa because of money and heritage (to put plain: the 4 million house in leafy highlands) is misplaced because muroora Risa has her rights enshrined in the national constitution. Risa will get what belongs to her and by right of the fact that she was married to Richard Morgen Tsvangirai.  

Still I am not judging at all: I am just playing a video in my mind: my son has died, there is this last Church Service to honour my son, days before he is laid to rest in his grave, I will never see him again until I die, for some reasons do I boycott this most important time of my son's stage appearance at best in a church service? What is bigger than a Church Service of a loved one: the mother boycotts his service meant to honour him.  The question is: is his heritage, his money he left behind more important than the life of a son she had lost?  Her son was by no account a small fish, whether we want it or not, he was a world recognised and respected leader of a vibrant opposition political party MDC. Why this entire inward-looking-circus at your son's funeral at the glare of the mass of people, national and international dignitaries, diplomats and international figures and international press? Did gogo Tsvangirai ever given a though about her stand-off in the presence of such national international dignitaries?  

Personally would have not done this - below-the-belt act, an act that will haunt me for the rest of my life. What was so big at stake to boycott a son's Church Service because you do not want to see a daughter-in-law or Chamisa? Is the loss of a son bigger than what he left behind to ever give that fight in the public, at his funeral? Was she not the person who was supposed to be near muroora Risa, give her strength and courage under such bitter loss of a 65 year old son, untimely gone, leaving his mother of about, well, in her late eighties. The moment Richard Tsvangirai breathed his last breath, the mother should have been the glue between the two families to mourn together the loss. Every moment of his passing on until he was laid to rest in Buhera her home place: the shrine of all the Tsvangirai ancestors is indeed precious to both families.  

It is very sad, a sad precedence too: sadly we all are acquainted with in Zimbabwe culture. The culture that puts money and heritance first before the death of a loved one is to be abhorred. Muroora Risa lived with their son, brother, children for over 5 years. What makes them think it is that easy to disown muroora Risa of what rightly belongs to her so as to get the best out of what Richard Tsvangirai left behind.  There are laws to be strictly followed and adhered to. Zimbabwe cannot afford to treat women as if we are in the seventh century backward traditions. Yesterday it was Hon. Priscilla Mishihairabwi-Mushonga who was purged out of her matrimonial home with a suitcase full of her clothes and nothing else.  Today it is muroora Risa who is purged out of her home because the relatives are the ones to inherit the dead Tsvangirai's property and all that belongs to Tsvangirai while he lived. Who is next? Hon. Mrs. Mushonga and Mrs Tsvangirai are prominent people we know, what about those who have no voice, no assistance, weak support structures that will emotional assist in such situations? 

What we know is that the law is clear about widow's rights. Risa should never give-in and even attempt to go lower than her mother-in-law to threaten to commit suicide too. To have read that statement from Risa was very bitter and surely not worthy it. Usaramwe! What a circus! Elisabeth should know that she has children; she is responsible for those children. Life is not to play around with because you are in distress dear Risa. You are a mother Elisabeth Tsvangira, and you should act like a mother: think about your own children equally even in that state of loss. The law is on your side when it comes to widow's rights in this country. You use those laws to fight for your rights as rightful wife to Tsvangirai.  

Marriage in our culture is nothing but psychological plays. If you play with it then you lose as a wife. I loved the fact that you insisted on going to the church service, to be part of the church service despite the fact that your mother-in-law decided to stay outside because of your presence: the last service that was in honour of your better self: a husband. My question is, what did she achieve by staying away from such an important service? Factually you and your mother-in-law will never see him again and those were the last moments you had to be part of; your right as wife of Richard.  

If I page back some few days ago I was watching a video of Risa giving her side of loss about her husband Richard. I was indeed very touched because the speech was moving. You worried mostly about your mother-in-law. You said verbatim: "If a woman loses her husband, you are called chirikadzi: but there is no name to describe a mother who loses a child."  To me those were the punctuations of your speech that will linger in my mind for some time. Muroora Risa was evidently worried about her mother-in-law more than herself. That is human, that is what it takes to be a good person, muroora, mother, and you acted as such, human. You empathised with your amwene/ambuya who did not want to see you near her. You scored quite a lot of good meaning, please keep it up.  

Think about those moments you had with your late hubby, how you cooked a meal he loved most and he said, "vadzimai; nhasi mazobika: ndatenda".  Think about the dress and dress he bought you when he was in those many official trips abroad and you thanked him and said: "Save ndatenda, Mwari ave newe:" Think about those holidays you had with him and you laughed endlessly. Think too about painful times you went through together with him and you solved those problems and life move on. Please dwell on that more than the worthless gossips around you and about your person! 

We are aware of the fact that in our culture, nobody dies naturally, especially if it is a husband: you will be told you killed him, a muroora is everything bad: a witch, she killed her husband, a whore, Risa had extra-marital relationships. It is just that such accusations on a woman are so mentally and emotionally reducing: German laws emphasize the dignity of the privacy of all human beings be it man or woman. Dignity of a person shall be inviolable.  I will not dwell or infringe into those most private lives of yours; makuwha, otherwise we sink equally together with those who are operating below the belt.  

Remember in our traditions: we say Richard Tsvangirai is still warm in his grave. These tongue waggings are tabu in our UBUNTU/HUNHU by all account. When an elderly woman crosses those tabus; we wonder still who will pass on those stories full of wisdom to her grand children and those who look up at her for guidance: money and heritage are things that will pass, but our traditions, those noble ones that uphold civilized African standards must indeed be nurtured by all who love this land called Zimbabwe dearly. 

Blessed are those that weep, for they shall be comforted says the holy bible. Moroora Risa, you will be comforted. However, if you need comfort and you want to speak to someone neutral, outside your family, Ntombi-Langa Charity is there for you. Again if it is not possible, I will think about you when I see the moon shine once more. I confess, I am not MDC member, but when I heard about Richard Morgan Tsvangirai's death, I was deeply concerned about you and his children. His death triggered the loss of my brother Charles Thata at the age of 50 years. There is power in just looking at the moon and sharing all your pains of emptiness with the moon shine dear Risa: those are true adversities you are going through. I still believe in the majestic power of a woman. We are strong people, I am sure you will be strong we have those supporting structures that will comfort you at every turn. Wish you God's blessings for each day that passes.