Claims of black magic, attempted murder and drug addiction in Zimbabwe VP’s divorce dispute

Harare — A Zimbabwean judge on Friday described as “frightening” the use of soldiers by the country’s vice president in a divorce-related dispute, and ruled that his wife should regain custody of their children and be allowed to access the family’s luxury home.

The ruling is the latest twist in a case that has gripped the southern African nation with allegations of black magic, attempted murder and drug addiction. The case has provided a glimpse of the luxurious lives of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite as the rest of the country grapples with economic collapse, hyperinflation and hunger.

The wife of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Marry, had approached the court seeking custody of the children and access to the house, a farm and vehicles. She said they were taken from her by Chiwenga when she was detained for more than three weeks on accusations of trying to kill him and money laundering.

After his wife was released from prison on bail earlier this month, Chiwenga refused to give her custody of the children and vehicles, and used soldiers to block her from entering their house in a wealthy suburb of the capital, Harare.

“It is unacceptable and anathema to the constitutional values of this jurisdiction that the military may be used to settle a matrimonial dispute,” said Judge Christopher Dube-Banda.