MDC legislator and staunch women rights defender Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga allegedly teamed up with her sister to assault her late brother’s wife during a body viewing ceremony at a funeral parlour in Bulawayo.
Bulawayo police spokesperson Superintendent Mandlenkosi Moyo confirmed the incident.
“We have received a case of assault involving the MP and the matter is under investigation,” said Supt Moyo.
Witnesses said Misihairabwi-Mushonga and her sister, Sindisiwe Nkiwane, beat up Irene Matekenya (26) during the body viewing of her late husband, Privilege Matekenya (29), on Friday.
Family members said Privilege committed suicide by throwing himself in front of a train in Mahatshula suburb on Sunday last week.
A family source told our Bulawayo Bureau that Irene and Privilege had separated at the time of his death.
The source said Misihairabwi-Mushonga’s family had barred Irene and her relatives from attending the funeral.
A relative who was at the funeral said Irene viewed her husband’s body and collapsed.
“Sindisiwe seemed angered and went on to kick and slap her accusing her of shedding crocodile tears,” said the source.
The relative said Privilege had tried to kill himself at least three times before, leading to his separation with Irene.
According to the police report, Misihairabwi-Mushonga followed Irene outside and shoved her while she tried to snatch her four-year-old son from her arms.
Irene was whisked away by friends in a kombi while Misihairabwi-Mushonga continued shouting at her, the report read.
Irene declined to speak to the Press yesterday.
“Go to whoever told you the story,” she said before hanging up.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga confirmed Irene reported her for assault at Bulawayo Central Police Station.
“She lied to the police because I never laid a hand on her,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
She said she was told there was a scuffle involving her sister, Irene and her brother during body viewing.
“It was actually her brother who kicked her after she kicked Sindisiwe,” she said. The legislator said she had intervened outside the parlour when she advised Irene and her family to go away as tempers were flaring. She said they had actually advised Irene and her family to stay away because some relatives were angry following Privilege’s suicide.
“Some relatives think he killed himself because Irene ditched him. I’m told she told him in front of my other sisters that she was going out with someone else and was no longer interested in him, hours before his death,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
She denied shoving Irene or trying to take her son from her.
Misihairabwi-Mushonga said there was someone filming the funeral and the truth would come out when the video becomes available.
“Unless I had lost it and gone mad, I would never do such a thing. I know the laws of this country. That would be the last thing I would do or wish to happen to someone because I’m also a victim of a similar issue,” she said.
Meanwhile, Supt Moyo has discouraged members of the public from resorting to violence to resolve disputes.
He said people should seek counselling or mediation from elders, the police or religious organisations to reach amicable solutions to misunderstandings.