WHEN it comes to abuse in a relationship, we typically imagine the survivor as being female.
But that is not always the case. Mzingaye Ncube from Nketa 6 suburb in Bulawayo is one of a growing number of male victims of domestic abuse who came forward for help.
Mzingaye claimed that he was living in fear of his wife Emily Ncube who is a sangoma. He stated that Emily was in the habit of physically and emotionally abusing him and at times allegedly forces him to have sex with her.
Mzingaye, who is employed as an electrician by a local company, bared his soul at the Bulawayo Civil Court where he was seeking a protection order against his wife.
In his application which he stated that his wife was forcing him to have sex with her, Mzingaye also begged the court to allow him stay and sleep in a separate bedroom until their marital disputes were resolved.
“I am applying for a protection order against my wife. She verbally abuses me and she insults me using vulgar language in the presence of our child. She damaged one of the doors and she is always threatening me and at times she pulls a knife on me,” he said of his wife.
“Another issue is that she a traditional healer. In August 2019 I travelled to Guinea Republic on a work project and came back in February 2021. In my absence my wife graduated to be a traditional healer and that trade has brought some problems within our marriage”.
Mzingaye said his mother-in-law threatened to beat him up for no apparent reason.
“On 9 February 2022 my mother-in-law and an aunt suddenly appeared on our door-step. Culturally it was improper to go to a meeting with the in-laws on my own. When I tried to record what they were saying, I overheard my mother in-law shouting ‘Ndoda kumurova’ (I want to beat him up).
“Her aunt from Gweru who was continuously bragging about her connections with law officers especially public prosecutors was also shouting ‘ndinomunyudza’. (I will fix him),” recounted Mzingaye.
He added “On 17 February 2022 my father-in-law also suddenly appeared on our door-step and I recorded the conversation we had where he stated that our marriage was no longer a priority and that I was not man enough”.
Mzingaye said efforts to involve his relatives and church elders to solve their marital problems proved futile.
“After losing both parents I was now looking to my in-laws as my parents and I was also helping them financially,” he said.
In his papers he also stated that his wife once threatened to axe him and scald him with boiling water.
In response the wife dismissed the accusations levelled against her.
“I am opposed to the application. I dispute that I damaged the door. He left home and was away for almost a month and he left us with no food. He took the food which was in the house and went away with it.
“He took the TV and decoder and locked them in the spare bedroom where he stays and cooks for himself. He longer takes care of me and the child despite the fact that I am pregnant,” said Emily.
She suspected that her husband was now cheating on her after she discovered condoms in his car.
“One day he slept outside and when he came back home in the morning, I discovered condoms and empty bottles of Savanna Dry ciders in his car. I have the evidence. It’s not true that I’m insulting him. I will be asking him why he locks food in the spare bedroom and why he neglects us. He is not maintaining us at all,” fumed Emily.
Mzingaye refuted his wife’s allegations and said she was a serial liar.
In her ruling, presiding magistrate Nomasiko Ndlovu ordered Emily not to physically, verbally and emotionally abuse her husband or make threats of violence against him.
The magistrate also ordered her not to visit her husband’s workplace without his consent.