Dr Masimba Mavaza Correspondent
Petros Makina remembered when he first landed at Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. He saw his dream being fulfilled.
He envisaged his wife coming to stay with him and together with his children his life would be complete.
Within six months, Petros had served enough for his wife to come and join him in the UK and with a stroke of luck, his wife was granted a visa together with his children.
Within a few days of the granting of the visa, there was a great reunion. Petros was over the moon and his wife and children were very quick to adjust. Soon, the wife got new friends and things started to change at home. The wife would come home late and tell Petros not to ask question her.
She would remind him that they were now in the UK and that “border ndimaenzanise”, meaning they were now equal since they were no longer in Zimbabwe after crossing the border. One day, Petros observed his wife being dropped by a man and he was angry, leading to an argument.
The following morning, Petros went to work as usual. When he came back at night, the wife was gone and left a note that she had taken the children to a shelter for the physically abused.
She vowed that he will never see them again and after a few weeks, Petros received a letter requesting for a divorce.
A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse. It is also a legal action between married people to terminate their marriage relationship.
It can be referred to as dissolution of marriage and is basically the legal action that ends the marriage before the death of either spouse.
After a divorce becomes final, the parties are no longer legally bound to one another, and are free to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership with another person.
This procedure shocked Petros and he went into depression which landed him in a hospital.
This is one story of a Zimbabwean broken marriage in the diaspora, and many others have ended this way. Divorce among Zimbabweans is very common in the UK, with almost half of all Zimbabwean marriages ending in divorce or permanent separation.
Commitment has been shown to be a clear factor in why some couples stay together, but many Zimbabweans, once they are in the UK, no longer care about their marriages.
There are times when divorce is necessary, but those in other circumstances often later indicate they wish they would have tried harder before divorcing.
There are many factors that place a couple at higher risk of divorce. It may be helpful to know some of the statistics and findings outlined below.
Recent Ministry of Justice (MoJ) UK statistics highlight an administrative reason behind the scale of the increase in divorce.
The divorce rate among opposite-sex couples fell to 7.5 divorces per 1 000 married men and women from 8.4 in 2017, the lowest rate since 1971; this will also have been affected by the backlog of work in divorce centres in 2018.
There is a number of Zimbabweans who have divorced because they have lacked family intervention.
There is no family effort to sort out the problems and couples are left to themselves to solve their problems.
If there is a misunderstanding, one has to back down or the marriage is gone.
A number of reasons have been cited for Zimbabwean couples divorcing in the UK.
Sometimes Zimbabwean ladies will simply divorce under the no-fault reason for divorce.
No fault laws took away the need to find fault. No-fault divorce law gives either party the freedom to sue for divorce, with only the claim of “irreconcilable differences”.
Born of these laws was the concept of unilateral divorce: either partner feeling the urge to end the marriage could do so and was free to leave.
This has been the culture of the English. Divorce is not anything to worry about in the UK. Many people have no shame after divorce. Friends will proudly tell you that they are in their 10th marriage.
In the work places, ladies are now prepared to leave their marriages because the husband refused to wash plates.
Many families interviewed have shown no desire to stay in their marriages.
John Budai of Corby UK commented, “Marriage has lost value, if one party in the marriage becomes stubborn the marriage is gone.”
Matewo Matore said: “Marriages in the UK have been shaken and they have fallen.”
Abide Shumba, a businessman in Leicester said: “Britain does not change people, it only brings out the real person who has been hidden behind pretence.”
Many Zimbabweans live together, but they will be in separation.
A legal separation is a lot like a divorce. It involves the same process of filing papers with the court to start a legal action and the court has to make the same decisions about children, debts and assets as in a divorce.
However, at the end of the process, the parties are legally separated instead of being divorced. That means they are still married, but not responsible for each other. This is a strange behaviour, but some Zimbabweans in the UK have embraced it.
Many couples come to Britain as a family, but stay few years then divorce. Divorce has become fashionable.
Zimbabweans have adopted a wrong culture, they now do not value marriages when they are in the UK.
Many have blamed the environment in the UK and further point out that women feel rich and privileged so they do not care what the man do.
The absence of aunts and adults to guide the children and couples has made marriages a joke.
We need our tradition back if our marriages are to stand. – [email protected]