An aggrieved Bulawayo man is seeking to divorce his elderly wife over religious differences.
Bwana Mlalazi (60), a Muslim from Sauerstown claimed his wife Eslima Mahammed Mlalazi (54)’s continued practice of her Christian faith against his will was adversely affecting their marriage; hence dissolution was the best way to go.
While responding to his wife’s accusations that he was abusing her and barring her from going to a church of her choice, Bwana said she disrespected him by converting from Islam to Christianity without his consent.
Complained Eslima: “My husband is violent and has been verbally and physically abusing me for a long time. He has a tendency of beating me up whenever we have a misunderstanding.
“He does not allow me to go to church saying my continued practice of Christian faith was adversely affecting the family. He is also in the habit of selling our matrimonial property without my consent and diverts all the money to his personal use”.
She further said her husband was also promiscuous and wanted him to use protection whenever they have sex.
“He has many girlfriends and I want him to use protection whenever we have sex since I am afraid of contracting sexually transmitted diseases,” said Eslima.
On his part, Bwana explained he was a Muslim and Eslima as his legal wife was also commanded to follow his religion.
As her husband I don’t think it’s abuse that I am stopping her from going to church which is against my doctrine. I am a Muslim and she converted from Islam to Christianity without my consent.
“She cannot do that in my house and as my legal wife she is obliged to follow my religion. I couldn’t imagine a life where my wife didn’t go to my church. We would rather divorce than stay together.
“Just imagine in October last year she refused to attend my father’s memorial service saying it was linked to ancestral spirits,” he said.
On sleeping-around allegations, Bwana said: “I am surprised why she wanted us to use protection since I am not suffering from any sexually transmitted disease. She is my wife and at our age I think it is not prosper for us to use protection. It is something which we have never done before since we got married”.
Meanwhile, Bwana’s order of barring his wife from going to a church of her choice did not go down well with presiding magistrate Sheunesu Matova.
The magistrate said it was “wrong” since his wife would be exercising her constitutional right of associating with a religion of her choice.
“You can’t stop your wife from going to the church of her choice. She would be exercising her constitutional right to be associated with the religion of her choice.
“As a result you shall not bar her from exercising her right to associate with the religion of her choice.
“You are also ordered not to verbally and physically abuse your wife and dispose household property without her consent,” ruled the magistrate before he referred the couple for counselling.