The Sunday Mail
I am a woman who comes from a family of six. I am one of three sisters and I also have three brothers. My other sisters and I are all married. Two of my brothers are married as well. My father physically assaulted my mother over a petty dispute.
She questioned him for selling a bucket of groundnuts for $2 in her absence and that set him off. We grew up in an unhappy home. If it had not been for my youngest sibling, who was present when this took place I fear my mother could have been really hurt. My sisters and I paid for our mother’s medical bills and continue to house her until such a time yavachazodzokera havo kumba kwavo. My brothers on the other hand are fuming, they want mom to go back to our rural home because my father is ruining everything back there. To this day my father has not called any one of us to ask how my mother is fairing. He has not even apologised to her. It has been three months since the incident. I’m very hesitant to send her back home, my father is really a trouble maker. My mom is 71 and my father is 76. Please help me put my family back together.
Your father has me at a loss for words. The fact that you grew up in an unhappy home lets me know that he has been bullying his family for years. Many people have been maimed or killed in such altercations and I do not condone this. As a father he is supposed to be the cornerstone of his family and yet all he does is inflict pain on you guys. I think your mother must report him to the police. The fact that you, your siblings or the health practitioners who treated your mother have not done so is why gender-based violence is destroying our communities. Your father cannot be treated as an undefeated champion. The law must take its toll. As his offspring I understand why it may be difficult for you to bring him to justice but what about your close relatives and neighbours? Where are they when all this is happening? You all cannot sit and watch only to regret your neutrality if something terrible and perhaps tragic ultimately happens to your mother. There is no coming back from that. You need to unite and bring an end to this madness. Your mother needs counselling for this and any other ordeal she has encountered in the past. Violence is never the answer, dialogue is how issues are resolved. Severely injuring your spouse over a bucket of groundnuts is not love. Keep your mother safe and away from him. Your siblings must understand that your mother’s well being comes first. Please have the courage to stand up against the wrongs your father has committed. I would like to hear from you again and be informed of the progress you make.
I’m broke and unhappy
Dear Mai Chisamba, I’m a man turning 31 in October this year. Two years ago I fell in love with a beautiful lady aged 21 and we are now blessed with a two-year-old baby boy pasina roora. I only paid US$100 for tsvakirai kuno. I am failing to pay roora due to the unforeseen delays in the remission of salaries at the company I work for. The company owes me a sum equivalent to 10 months work. Since the beginning of January last year we have not been regularly paid. To cut the long story short, our relationship has not been flourishing at all amai despite some ups and downs that are common in any other relationships. My wife is employed and when I fail to settle our rent I normally order her to pay and later on reimburse her monies. She buys more groceries than I do. I admit I am no longer financially stable, although, I am employed full time. The issue here amai is, two months ago we had a major fight. One day I came back late from work and I got home to an empty house. She packed up everything, the only stuff she left me was my clothes. Maid ne mwana vose vakaendwa navo. I then quickly went to her aunt to inform her about her move and the aunt said she would call us and have a sit down. Later on I discovered that she was renting an apartment in Glenview and I informed her relatives about her whereabouts. She was later on convinced by her aunt to pitch up for ma talks. Because I love her, I accepted her back. That was the biggest mistake I made. My wife is no longer the same, we are no longer intimate and she always complains. She assumes I only accepted her back because I am not financially stable and she always says ‘ini ndine pride’ because I am learned than her. Does that matter here amai? Especially if we consider the fact that I have accepted her for who she is? Her relatives do not visit us because I have not paid roora. I have not yet spoken with my relatives about this issue. Can I ask them about it? I am not sure if I will continue to love this lady. I have been thinking of letting her go. I am so confused and I do not see us going anywhere from here. I really need to know where I stand as far as this relationship is concerned.
Congratulations on your upcoming milestone. Turning 31 usually means you have come of age and show signs of maturity. I do not see it so much in your case, let me explain. For starters, you are calling your girlfriend your ‘wife’. You are not married and you know traditionally kubika mapoto holds no weight. That is why her relatives do not engage you. To them you are just living in sin with their beloved sister. Having children when you cannot fully support them is tough. That is the source of your girlfriend’s frustration. She is being moody and not clearly articulating this but I assume that is where the problem emanates from. If you go back to your letter you will also discover that things changed after the birth of your son. Your employment situation is disheartening and it is really sad. I hope you get back on your feet soon. If your girlfriend cannot understand your situation now what more when you actually do find enough money to marry her? In marriage spouses share equally what is between them. If she has a car and you do not have one when you get married you will both share and own that car. Basing everything on this logic, what you are going through now is testing you to see how well you work together as a unit. She makes more and she does more and she is not having it. I think this speaks volumes. You say you are ready to give up on her; has she not already given up on you? If things are not working now when you have a child together and you live together, there is no need to get married. You are proving you cannot work together well as a unit. Whatever you do decide the child must be taken care of and protected from all of this drama going on. I would also advise you to seek counsel from your older male relatives who are married who understand what it takes to make a relationship work. Act swiftly and afford yourself peace of mind. This restlessness is not good for you.
My boss is cheating me out of my money
Mai Chisamba, please assist me I’m deeply stressed. I’m shocked by the behaviour of my boss. I’m a maid aged 20 and I have been working for this lady for two years now. My problem started in February this year when I begged her kuenda kuma lessons kana ndapedza basa rangu. She agreed and encouraged me to study hard. I registered three subjects and I have been studying hard. To cut a long story short ever since then she has not been paying me. She is always giving excuses and stating that hard cash is hard to come by. She is also claiming her pension was reduced and she owes US$360 now. Last month the iron fuse burst and she scolded me for it, in her fit of rage she said I would pay for any cup or plate I ever broke and she will deduct her money from the money she owes me. She now dumps enormous loads of work on me and I cannot attend my lessons anymore because I am always busy. I am actually regretting the money I wasted enrolling for classes. Maybe I should have bought myself shoes instead. One day she left her diary in the living room and I opened it only to see that she had written down that she now owes me $250. I almost fainted I tried even to calculate mari yezvinhu zvandakapwanya and it’s less than US$10. Her new slogan is ‘I won’t even hesitate to chase you out of my compound but since you are writing this year I will hold off a bit’. She even forbids me from greeting the neighbours. Her son always says that is her personality and that I cannot take any action against her because she is in good books with the local police. He suggested that since he knows her pin number for a mobile money transfer system he can send me the money on condition that when she finds out I do not out him. This is illegal and I do not want to go down that road, please advise me.
Let me try and work fast so that you stop being deeply stressed. The first question I want to ask you is did you sign a contract and if so what does it say? The other thing I want you to know is that even verbal agreements are legally binding. Your boss must pay you what she owes you. These so called deductibles cannot be factored in if you did not initially agree to them. It is true cash is hard to come by but there are other methods of payment such as money transfers. I feel sorry for you now that your school time is being affected. Your boss should honour her commitments and not try to intimidate you. It is good you said no to the plan her son pitched. I would stay away from him, I am still trying to figure out what is in it for him. I will give you the contacts of individuals who specialise in this type of thing and they can help you get what is rightfully yours. The erratic nature of her mood swings are not good for anyone. You need to work for someone who values you and wants to see you better yourself. School is important and at twenty finishing high school is only the beginning. You can achieve so much more. To all the readers out there who are facing similar predicaments know your rights and do not be short-changed. I believe this matter can be resolved I wish you well.
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