The Sunday Mail
THE daily routine of a man based in one of the suburbs in Harare involves visiting his four wives and several children within a few hours.
Fortunately, he does so without having to drive from one house to another.
He simply parks his lovely family car at a single complex that accommodates all his wives.
Each one has her own apartment located in a fairly new residential complex in the western suburbs, which has more than 50 modern three-bedroomed apartments. Each unit costs about US$350 per month in rentals. The beauty of it all is the women treat each other as sisters and take turns to visit one another while the children pace up and down the complex, playing together as one big family.
In the morning, you see the wives and children picking each other up in their respective cars on their way to work or school. Those who do not fit in the two cars, or three cars if the husband is around, are then picked up by a bigger van that comes to fetch the rest of the family members.
Rumour has it that the man, who is in his early fifties, has other wives that do not stay at the same complex. But he has since set in motion plans to move them to the same complex, should there be other apartments available to rent.
The latest wife to join the team was a maid to the “senior wife” and was dismissed from work for having an adulterous relationship with her boss, whom she now has a child with.
The irony of it is the wives have somehow accepted this new kid on the block as one of them!
The children, whose ages range from three to late 20s, are believed to be 21 in total!
One of the daughters is married and has two children. The man is renting her a place of her own in one of the suburbs in Harare.
Is the husband iron-fisted in forcing these women into polygamy or he uses juju on the women so that they feel it is normal for him to have many wives? One wonders what it is that attracted and keeps attracting these women to this man. Also, one tries to imagine if the women got into the set-up knowingly or the man lied that he was single during courtship.
Our society has somehow accepted that it is normal for a man to have more than one wife and possibly a second wife popularly known in Zimbabwe as “small house”.
But the question is: how many wives does he intend to end up with? Is he trying to break a record of the number of wives who have accepted each other and leave in harmony?
His is an amazing arrangement and naturally questions keep coming.
What is the secret behind this polygamous relationship where different wives know, respect and treat each other as family?
Is it possible that this man has a few tips to teach the world out there with regards to polygamy?
Also, can the wives be advocates of the beauty of polygamy?
In the Bible, David and King Solomon had several wives, concubines and children?
King Solomon had 700 wives, 300 concubines and lots of children. The man and all his wives are members of a local church which allows polygamy.
In Zimbabwe, civil law and customary law exist side by side.
Civil law prohibits polygamy, once a common practice, in marriages that are registered with the State under certain sections, while the customary law does recognise polygamous marriages.
King Mswati, the leader of Eswatini (Swaziland), has 15 wives.
But in the United Kingdom, you can only be legally married to one woman.
Despite the visible harmony within the family, it will still be important to get their views or understand their fear of diseases like HIV/Aids due to multiple sexual relations. The debate, however, continues.
Some think it is better to be in a polygamous relationship where the wives know each other than have a husband who is involved in “small houses” privately.
Is it time that society accepts that men can marry as many women as they want?
To the children, is it they have accepted that they are a big happy family and that one day they, too, the boys will follow their father’s footsteps while the daughters will be like their mothers in a polygamous relationship?
What lessons can be drawn from this polygamous relationship?
The Bible (Holy Bible Amplified) says in 1 Corinthians 7:2: “But because of the temptation to impurity and to avoid immorality, let each (man) have his own wife and let each (woman) have her own husband.”
Effectively it states that polygamy is unlawful.
“I think in all fairness this man deserves a trophy for showing that a polygamous marriage can work and women can actually share one man without any problems,” said one married man who is in his early 40s declined to be named.
Another married man who is in his early 30s said it was high time society especially married women accepted that it was okay for a man to have as many wives as he can for as long as he can support the family’s upkeep.
One married woman who also chose to remain anonymous said she will never accept to be in a polygamous relationship.
“If my husband marries another woman for me this is confirmation of divorce,” she said.
Asked which was better for the husband to come out in the open with a second wife or have a “secret small house”, the woman still said this was grounds for divorce!