A Roman Catholic priest based at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Winston Park, Marondera, Zimbabwe has clashed with some members of his flock after he joined a polygamist in holy matrimony.
Father Fintan is alleged to have been pressured by members of his church committee which was composed of interested parties. The polygamous Dennis Dzere (39) has two wives, Tsitsi Pauline Makwindi (35) with whom he has three children and Brenda Chipere (32) who has been his second wife for eight years and is pregnant by him.
Dennis then decided to solemnise his marriage to the first wife, Tsitsi by marrying her under the marriage law. Having heard Dennis' plans, Brenda approached Father Fintan three days before the wedding day objecting to her husband's intended wedding. Father Fintan called Dennis and the church committee before Brenda was assured that the wedding had been stopped.
Man of God, Fintan confirmed last Sunday that he erred by accepting the church committee's decision to join Dennis and Tsitsi in holy matrimony behind Brenda's back.
Narrating her ordeal, Brenda said Dennis connived with members of Tsitsi's church who are lawyers and threatened her before police moved in and took Brenda outside the church premises.
"I am going to sue Father Fintan because I objected to the wedding before he called my husband Dennis who confirmed that he has two wives. As we speak, I am three months pregnant and I have been living with Dennis for eight years and Tsitsi is very much aware of that. Dennis has keys to my house and pays my rent. During the meeting with church committee, Dennis was sending me text messages telling me that he would do more than pay my rent and pay my other bills that I was paying for if I let him wed Tsitsi.
"Fintan told me that he was going to stop the wedding only to be called last Friday for a meeting with his church committee who questioned me the whole night. I left Fintan's house at 5am on Saturday before his committee remained behind and convinced Fintan to quickly join the two behind my back. The wedding venue belongs to the chairman Gochera who presided over the meeting that wanted to convince me not to object to the wedding. The other person who is a sister in the church is related to Tsitsi so they forced Fintan to go ahead with the wedding.
"Dennis is not a member of the Catholic Church. He only wanted to use the wedding certificate to facilitate children's school place at Catholic Boarding schools. The church committee used illegal ways before the police officers denied me entry to the church after I was informed that the wedding was going ahead," narrated Brenda.
Dennis CONFIRMED that his second wife - Brenda - caused a scene before the committee facilitated his wedding to go ahead.
"Everyone in Marondera knows that Brenda isimbi yamudhara and everyone else be it at social soccer and she brought pictures of me with her cruising in Lake Kariba and other places. Inyaya yeshaisano chete and I guess someone pushed her to approach the priest three days before the wedding. Friends helped me approach the magistrate for a license and we sought a peace order to allow police officers to bar her from entering the church. There is no big issue because we finally succeeded and the wedding went well. I think she tried to disturb the wedding because everyone knows her as my wife and no one would marry her especially here in Marondera (if she were to break up with me)," said Dennis.
Father Fintan admitted that he erred.
"It's true Brenda approached me three days before the wedding with an objection and I decided to call for a meeting with our legal advisers and the church committee. You can speak to our legal advisory Advocate Phiri and the church's chairman Mr Gochera. I solemnised the wedding after the church found Brenda's reasons for objection negligible. Please see Advocate Phiri for a clearer clarification," said Father Fintan.
Advocate Phiri, who was part of the church committee, said they found Brenda's objection weightless.
"The two had no marriage certificates and from the meeting we found out that no relatives of Dennis knew Brenda. Church and court weddings only allow one man - one wife and there was no way Dennis would be joined in matrimony with two wives," said Advocate Phiri.