MASVINGO — Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman, indeed.
This rang true for Zanu(PF) Masvingo urban Member of Parliament, Daniel Shumba, when he was embarrassed last week, in front of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, by a woman with whom he sired a child out of wedlock. Although she did not mention Shumba by name, Ropafadzo Matendashumba — who once dragged the former TeleAccess boss to the maintenance court before withdrawing the case in an out-of-court settlement, asked Mnangagwa what she should do with “some you are with” who are neglecting their kids.
Many in Masvingo privy to the saga knew she was referring to Shumba hence they started cheering, although others later heckled her.
“Why does your Constitution only nail the povo? It does not arrest people like ministers and MPs. They (Ministers) do not follow it and if you report them to the police, the tables will be turned against you and cops end up arresting you. They (police) refuse to handle the cases, like in my case, the cop said ‘I will not handle the case as I will be fired’, and said ‘go to our seniors because they told us not to arrest him’. But I was denied access to the seniors.
“My second question is: If a person, like a minister, cannot sign maintenance papers saying I am away on presidential duty, when the kid is suffering, how do I get him to sign? How can the President be respected when a kid is starving and a minister under his employ is refusing to sign maintenance papers? How do you hold the minister to account?
“My third question is: Is it legal for a two-year old kid to be in the custody of the father? Is it proper to politicise a two-year-old kid? A two-year old kid is staying with his father and they say he or she cannot stay with the mother because the toddler is at political risk. I am being denied access to my kid by the father, a senior (party official) who is among you. Mr Mnangagwa, I beg you not to leave Masvingo before bringing clarity to the issue,” she said.
Shumba, who was seated in front at the high table, at a function held at Masvingo Polytechnic, could be seen fidgeting and feeling uneasy, trying to make calls on his mobile phone and caucusing with Chiefs Council president, Chief Fortune Charumbira, and Masvingo Provincial Affairs Minister, Shuvai Mahofa.
Masvingo provincial administrator, Felix Chikovo, then called officer commanding Masvingo, Martha Mofolo, and had a caucus with her before calling Shumba backstage.
In response, Virginia Mabhiza, secretary in the Ministry of Justice, said commenting on the matter was sub-judice as it was before the courts.
“She talked of maintenance, custody, access and implementation of the Constitution. We cannot comment as it is sub-judice, we will be interfering with the courts,” Mabhiza said.
However, Mnangagwa ordered all MPs and the only deputy minister present, Mathias Tongofa, to stand up, telling them that they were servants of the people and not the other way round.
“No-one is above the law. It applies to every Zimbabwean citizen. The only person who is immune to prosecution is a sitting President. Besides number one, everybody is subject to the law,” said Mnangagwa adding that corrupt police officers and ministers would be arrested.