Former Education minister Aeneas Chigwedere has come out guns blazing and denied accusations of practising witchcraft, while dismissing his son Mangwiza as a mental patient who needs psychiatric help.
“I genuinely believe that applicant Mangwiza Chigwedere, who is my son, should be examined by a psychiatrist to determine if he is still in his sound senses,” wrote Chigwedere in his opposing affidavit filed by his lawyer Tendai Masawi.
Defending a lawsuit brought before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts, Chigwedere and his wife, Emilia Zharare, denied the allegations raised by his son and further challenged the jurisdiction of the magistrates’ court in handling the matter.
Chigwedere said the matter, in which he is accused of possessing goblins that are alleged to have killed a number of the Chigwedere clan members and causing women in the family not to get married or fail to conceive children, was frivolous and a waste of the court’s time.
“What the applicant has merely achieved through this frivolous application was to waste the court’s valuable time by instituting proceedings which are unmeritorious and lack momentum at law. He has also succeeded in humiliating and debasing first [Chigwedere] and second [Zharare] respondents through the unfounded allegations,” Chigwedere’s submissions read.
The former minister, through his lawyers, submitted that the application by his son raised constitutional issues and, therefore, should not have been made at the magistrates’ courts.
“Applicant avers that he makes this application in terms of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. It, therefore, follows that the honourable court which has been seized with the application has no jurisdication to decide over the matter as it cannot sit as a Constitutional Court (ConCourt). If this matter is founded in terms of the Constitution, then the matter should be one for the ConCourt to preside over,” reads the response.
Chigwedere further said the relief sought by his son could not be enforced by a non-spiritual court because it would not have a way of checking whether the relief had been complied with if granted.
“Relief sought by the applicant is spiritual in nature and clearly taking due cognisance of the fact that this honourable court is not a spiritual body or institution, it is very difficult for this court to ensure the order it gives in this aspect is carried down to the letter,” he said.
“For if the court directs first and second respondent to send off the alleged goblins, how is the court going to ensure that the goblins have, indeed, been sent off, if there are goblins to talk about in the first place?”
In the opposing affidavit which is supported by his wife, Chigwedere said the case was driven by a personal vendetta and he denies having goblins or causing the family, in particular, and the clan, at large, any misery.
“Actions such as those by applicant, in which subject embarks on a personal vendetta with another, drags the other to court to put him out of pocket unnecessarily, should never go unsanctioned,” he said.