RE: FRANK BUYANGA SADIQI V CHANTELLE TATENDA MUTESWA: CUSTODY MATTERS
As the current President of Zimbabwe, it is prudent that I disclose information relating to the unwarranted engagement with individuals in your confidence, meddling in my custody and personal matters. These events have marked the loss of integrity, probity and good standing of your family name and may very well lead to their eventual demise.
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A letter of demand, demanding that Mrs Auxillia Mnangagwa and her sons desist with their involvement, has been sent. Despite the evidence of their involvement, no facet of the entire Zimbabwean administrative system has responded to my complaints, including the Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Republic Police. This is a clear indication that these institutions are not law-abiding and hold no integrity in Zimbabwe. The Judicial Service Commission is the only institution that has acknowledged receipt of my complaint, which I lodged against Justice Manzunzu.
As required by yourself, I hereby outline a chronological summary of the events in the custody battle between Ms Chantelle Muteswa (Chantelle) and I, and wish to inform you of individuals in your close circle that are meddling in my personal family matter. I humbly request, that as President, you prevent anyone that is within your inner circle, or close to you, from meddling in my personal family matters as it is bizarre for a Head of state or those close to him, to get involved in a private citizen’s family affairs.
During or about 2008, Mr Lawrence Muteswa approached my offices in Harare to sell his property, namely, 13 Coventry Road, Greystone Park. I transferred the funds (USD) to his Stanbic account, of which he acknowledged receipt (Annexure 01). As a part of the agreement, I allowed Mr Muteswa an option to buy back the property, an option of which he failed to take advantage (Annexure 02). Whilst my company was in the process of recovering the property, I received a Facebook request from Ms Chantelle Muteswa stating she had an interest in meeting me (Annexure 03). Unbeknownst to me at the time, she was the daughter of Mr Muteswa. I ignored her request for some time.
On December 31, 2009, I was invited to a New Year’s Eve gathering by a gentleman referred to as Rimo, in Harare’s Vainona neighbourhood. At the gathering, I was approached by Mr Leeroy Serima who pointed out Chantelle to me. He informed me that she wanted to be introduced and to meet me. This is how Chantelle and I became acquainted, but at the time I did not realise that the real intention of Chantelle was to seek the forgiveness of her family debt and to manipulate me into not proceeding with the recovery of her father’s property.
In our conversations, I asked Chantelle if she knew who Mr Muteswa was, and she ignored the question. As time progressed, I received a friend request on Facebook from Mr Muteswa and upon showing this request to Chantelle, she asked me to ignore it (Annexure 04). Chantelle and I became close, communicating frequently and then began a relationship.
Chantelle and I have a child who is currently 5 years old. Daniel Alexander Sadiqi, was born out of wedlock in South Africa. The access and parental rights in regard to Daniel has been the subject of exhaustive litigation scattered between numerous courts.
I, as the biological father, have had to fight tooth and nail for every single aspect pertaining to my parental right as the biological father of Daniel, as well as having to fight for his rights, being guided by what is in his best interests. As set out hereunder, it has been a disturbing cumulation of events. The interference of individuals in your confidence in these matters has exacerbated an already acrimonious situation. These individuals have taken no cognisance of the impact their actions have on my 5-year-old child.
Daniel was born in South Africa, however, Chantelle returned with him to Zimbabwe, where she unlawfully obtained a birth certificate for him and intentionally omitted to register me as the father on the illegally obtained document.
During the operation to restore legacy, I came to Zimbabwe, for your inauguration Your Excellency and have made every effort to be involved in my child’s life. On or about January 25, 2018, Chantelle and I entered into a memorandum of agreement for access to and maintenance of Daniel, which agreement was made an order of the Children’s Court, by consent (Annexure A).
The court order, mentioned above, was varied three times at my instance, with the last variation order being made on April 17, 2019. The variance related to the exercise of my rights of access to Daniel (Annexure B). This order states that whenever it is agreed that I exercise my access rights, Chantelle should release Daniel’s passport.
The court order was violated by Chantelle, and despite the fact that she was found in contempt of court, she persisted to deny giving me Daniel’s passport when I exercised my access rights (Annexure C).
Chantelle and I had agreed that Daniel’s home would be 13 Coventry Road, Greystone Park, Harare, Chantelle’s father’s house that had been saved by myself. As far as I am aware, Chantelle is dependent upon her father for her accommodation. In June 2019, whilst Daniel was with me, Chantelle and her parents were evicted from 13 Coventry Road, Greystone Park, Harare.
After they were evicted, Mr Muteswa was reported in the media stating “I do not have a place to sleep, these days it is cold”. As a loving father, I had no option but to approach the court, in the best interests of Daniel, and sought a court order that he could not return back to Chantelle under the circumstances that she was in, as this would be placing Daniel into an unstable and unsafe environment that is detrimental to his welfare (Annexure D).
As a concerned father I exercised my legal right to apply to extend my access rights to Daniel to allow me to provide accommodation for him, which the court correctly granted (Annexure E). The court found that I could provide Daniel with a stable and safe environment where his best interests would be met.
Despite the Children’s Court ruling that Daniel’s best interests were with me and that I could provide a safer home for him, Chantelle demanded that Daniel be returned to her, even though she was unable to provide him with a safe and stable home. Chantelle approached the High Court to assist her and the urgent chamber application was heard before Honourable Zhou J under case number HC6037/19 (Annexure F).
In Chantelle’s application to the High Court, she requested that the High Court set aside the order granted by the Children’s Court and that the High Court issue a warrant of arrest. Her application was dismissed. The reasons for the dismissal are set out in the judgment attached. Chantelle then appealed against the ruling of the Children’s Court. The appeal is under case number CIV’A’ 220/2019.
The court found that it is in the best interests of Daniel that he stays in a safe and stable environment. To protect him, I made an application for execution pending appeal. The appeal was granted, and Daniel remained safe with me.
Chantelle proceeded with yet another urgent chamber application under case number HC6651, in which she sought a stay of execution of the Children’s Court order under case number CCA205/18 pending a determination of an appeal under CIV ‘A’. 220/19. The order was to serve as a warrant of arrest (Annexure G). This application was found not to be urgent and was removed from the urgent roll.
Your Excellency, it has never been in doubt that I am Daniel’s biological father, but Chantelle secured a birth certificate for our son which did not include my name as his father. She intended to make it seem as though he did not have a father. Despite several interactions to resolve this matter, and include me on our child’s birth certificate, Chantelle did not want my inclusion on the birth certificate as Daniel’s father. This right is enshrined in terms of Section 81(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Section 81(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe states “Every child, that is to say, every boy and girl under the age of 18 years has the right to be given a name and a family name”.
Daniel was being denied his constitutional right of having a family name which is my name. My child deserved to have his father’s family name and I made an application that his birth certificate should include my name. This application was granted by the court.
Notwithstanding that the court ordered that Daniel remain with me, Chantelle was granted the right to see him under supervision by either myself or by my personnel. Through my attorneys, and in the interests of our son, I engaged her several times that we should discuss the way forward, inviting her to see Daniel, but she was not willing to discuss the matter.
It came to my attention that Chantelle had been going to Daniel’s school and disrupting his learning. This was extremely inappropriate as Chantelle was given the opportunity to see Daniel at any other time, but she chose to disrupt him at school. To prevent this, I proceeded with an application to the Magistrates’ Court, which the court granted, to bar Harare International School from allowing anyone to see Daniel during his learning time to ensure that his education was not disrupted (See Annexure H).
A few days after the application was granted, Chantelle, in the company of the Messenger of the Court, went to our child’s school and presented a court order which stated that Chantelle is the custodial parent of Daniel and that she wanted to take him with her.
The court order which Chantelle presented to the school, whilst in the company of the messenger of the court, was granted prior to the court ordering that it is in the best interests of Daniel that he stay with me. The court was aware that Chantelle was the custodial parent at that the time it ordered that Daniel remains with me.
The school was unsettled by Chantelle attempting to take Daniel and they ensured that they all went to the Marlborough Police Station, along with Daniel. The police contacted my attorneys and informed them of what was transpiring because they understood from the court order that Daniel was to remain with me. My attorneys immediately attended at the police station and presented the court order which showed that Daniel was to remain with me. My attorneys and Chantelle agreed that they would go to my attorneys’ office and discuss the matter instead of discussing it at the police station. Whilst everyone was proceeding to their cars, Chantelle got into her car, with Daniel, and drove away. She intentionally drove recklessly to avoid being followed and no one was able to see where she had gone.
I opened a case for contempt of court at Highlands Police Station under RR 4311849 as Chantelle had defied a court order that Daniel remain with me. I also opened case of kidnapping at Harare Central Police under IR030842. No investigating officers were appointed on those matters and I had no knowledge of where Chantelle had taken Daniel
For days I was unaware of where Chantelle had taken Daniel, whether he was safe, or whether he was being properly taken care of. Daniel’s school also advised that he was not being brought to school during this time (Annexure I).
In my frantic attempt to locate my child I was sent back and forth from one office to another at the police station, to no avail.
I wrote numerous letters, to numerous authorities in an attempt to help me locate Daniel, none of which were acknowledged or responded to, including the Deputy Commissioner-General (Annexure J) and the Commissioner-General of Police (Annexure K).
The police refused to assist me in locating Daniel as they stated that the mother had a right to take him. This is despite the court order evidencing the contrary. Even with a warrant of arrest issued against Chantelle for contempt of court the police refused to assist.
It took weeks for the police to finally assist. The police did not give me equal protection before the law as enshrined in Section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. My complaints against Chantelle taking our child were purposefully ignored.
Your Excellency, I was advised that the reason the police showed disinterest and laxity in investigating the matter and effecting the warrant of arrest, was due to interference by Collins Mnangagwa. I was inclined to not believe this advisement, however, judging by the inaction of the police investigations in a child kidnapping case and their failure to execute the warrant of arrest, there is a pattern of corroboration too strong to ignore.
On March 19, 2020, the High Court granted Chantelle and I joint custody of Daniel, which is a landmark judgment in Zimbabwe as it is the first time that an unmarried father has been granted such a right. (Annexure L). I am thus a joint guardian of Daniel in the eyes of the courts.
A few days after the landmark judgment, I recovered Daniel and I updated the police that he was now with me. Chantelle proceeded with a police report against me and an application to the High Court under case number HC2149/20 for arrest tanquam suspectus de fuga, to return Daniel. She sought that I be arrested if I do not comply within 24 hours.
I advised the court through my attorneys Manase & Manase that I had already exited the country on March 27, 2020 (Annexure M).
Before the matter was heard, I wrote to the Judicial Service Commission that Justice Manzunzu (the judge allocated to hear the matter), should not determine the matter, as I had evidence that he was compromised and had been in contact with Collins Mnangagwa and Dylish Nguwaya, who have always shown personal interest in my custody matter.
The letter was served at the Judge’s President’s office and Judge Manzunzu had sight of it. Despite this, Justice Manzunzu proceeded to preside over the matter and as I anticipated, he ruled against me, in particular, he claimed that I am within the Zimbabwean jurisdiction, despite the court being furnished with a stamped copy of my passport. (Annexure N). Justice Manzunzu ruled that I should return the child to Chantelle within 24 hours of service of the order or I would be arrested.
Your Excellency, it is non-sensical that during a lockdown, where international borders are closed, I am expected to comply with a court order that states that I must bring the child and subject him to days of quarantine. The High Court, as upper guardian of children, could not intend that my child should be subjected to days of quarantine and being placed at more risk of Covid-19, and as such the order granted by Justice Manzunzu cannot be said to be in the best interests of Daniel. The police have been active in their case against me, unlike when I sought their assistance, and have even notified Interpol and have declared me to be a fugitive. I have not been found guilty of any criminal actions, yet I am being portrayed as a fugitive and treated as a criminal.
Your Excellency, I would like you to know that during the court proceedings under case number HC2149, my attorneys advised the court that I am not within the jurisdiction of Zimbabwe, producing a stamped copy of my passport. The Chief Immigration Officer proceeded to give a report to the court that I did not exit the country and they do not have a record of my exit. This is either a lie or a fault within their system which I cannot be responsible for. I have requested several times that they retract their incorrect report, as I am out of the jurisdiction of the Zimbabwean courts.
I am a law-abiding citizen. I wrote a letter to the Commissioner-General of Police dated May 4, 2020, stating that I am not a fugitive and the media reports that I am a fugitive are prejudicial to me as a business person, a man of God and above all as a father of a 5-year-old boy. All my complaints have fallen on deaf ears (Annexure O).
I filed an appeal against the order granted by Justice Manzunzu on May 11, 2020, as I was aggrieved by the judgment and felt that he should have recused himself and that his ruling was unfair and intentionally prejudicial against me.
Your Excellency, there is a lot of interference from external forces in my custody matter, and I am not receiving protection of the law. Such interference is clearly impacting on the rule of law and the vision you have for a better Zimbabwe.
It’s a pity that with all the hard work you have done for your family name, there remain individuals within your confidence, who seek to reduce the integrity of your standing. It may be too late to turn the ship around at this stage especially since some members even raised their voice against members of the military.
At this stage, members of your family may seemingly control the country, but they certainly will not control destiny. The actions of these individuals, such as sending armed policemen to my properties, may seek to instil fear within me and my son, but they will not change my views and ideals and I will raise my son to be strong in his beliefs. The tactics that have been used in interfering in my personal matters have had a devastating effect on a 5-year-old child, but these guerrilla tactics by those in your confidence, and members of family, on me personally, and on my son, ought to cease immediately. You, Your Excellency, in the power you stand, can put an immediate end to it. Let a father be with his son without using it as a means of warfare.
I humbly trust that these issues can be finalised and brought to an amicable conclusion.
FRANK BUYANGA SADIQI
Vice President Rtd. General C.G Chiwenga – Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Vice President K. D Mohadi – Vice President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Hon. Adv. J.F Mudenda – Speaker of the House of Assembly
Hon. Z. Ziyambi – Leader of Government Business in Parliament
Hon. R.K Kazembe – Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage
National Joint Operations Command
Mr K. Hodzi – Prosecutor-General Zimbabwe
Mr T.V Mpofu – Director, Special Anti-Corruption Unit in the President’s Office
Commissioner E. Mugwadi -Chairperson, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission