AFTER five years of experiencing pain, torment, and rejection at the hands of her late husband's family, Nyanyiwe Banda not real name
has decided to tell her story in the hope that justice will prevail.
Nyanyiwe was rejected by her husband's family after his death and everything was grabbed from her and the children. She was also remanded in prison for eight months after being accused of killing her husband.
Nyanyiwe, who is now unemployed, says she has exhausted all the institutions that may be concerned with the plight of widows and orphans in her quest to find justice but to no avail.
She says she feels telling the story to The Post may yield some positive results when it reaches the attention of the relevant authorities.
Nyanyiwe says in her quest to see justice, she engaged 12 lawyers who withdrew representation a day or two before going to hear the matter.
Nyanyiwe worked for 10 years at one of the country's print media organisations and later quit to join forces with her husband in business to secure a future of their children.
She now narrates the misfortune and misery has befallen her life after the death of her husband.
Nyanyiwe says she got married in 1995 and the couple had four children.
She says her husband fell sick in 2007 and later died.
Nyanyiwe says according to the death certificate, her husband died of hypertension, a condition she said he often suffered from.
She explains that after his death, the two families met and her husband's relatives asked her what he had died of.
Nyanyiwe says she told them that he died of hypertension as stated on the death certificate.
She says during the same meeting, she asked about matters of administering the family estate and suggested that she be part of the team especially that the children were young.
Nyanyiwe says her husband's relatives refused to let her be part of team, saying she was still mourning her husband.
She was then asked to choose someone to represent her.
However, the person she chose was rejected and late husband's family instead chose one of her cousins, whom she believed was siding with them.
Nyanyiwe explains that she and her late husband were running two limited companies and among the properties they had included vehicles.
As struggles on the administration of the estate continued, her husband's family told her to stay away from the activity and only get concerned with mourning her husband.
This prompted Nyanyiwe to seek the assistance of the Legal Aid Clinic where she was told that she had the right to be part of the administrators.
When they went to court, she requested to be included but her husband's relatives got annoyed.
She says what made the situation worse was the fact that the local court where the matter was referred was not as helpful as the property was too much for it to handle.
When she attempted to pursue the matter further, she was accused of killing her husband whom she said was buried at their farm house.
"They said you have killed him so we will bury him here house
so that your conscience is troubled," Nyanyiwe said.
She then decided to go to administrator general's office and the husband's relatives were infuriated further.
Nyanyiwe says at the administrator general's office, she was told that two people would be sworn in including herself but on the day it was supposed to be done, she didn't make it as her youngest baby at the time was unwell.
She later learnt that two people had been sworn in her absence; a representative from the husband's family and her cousin.
Nyanyiwe then decided to engage a lawyer to help her get a share of the estates she had worked for with the late husband and deal with the issues of the preservation order which the husband's family issued on various properties.
She says she decided to go and withdraw some money to pay the lawyer when she discovered an affidavit which showed that she could not withdrew money because the bank had frozen the account.
Nyanyiwe says she felt it was unfair and decided to go back to Legal Aid
Clinic and the account was opened again.
She says bailiffs later raided one of their companies and collected all the furniture.
Nyanyiwe says the bailiffs also went away with a Pajero, a minibus, two Canters, a Land Cruiser and a truck.
She says she has tried to follow up with the Sheriffs of Zambia but they have refused to release the properties to date.
Nyanyiwe says in her pursuit of justice, she went back to Legal Aid Clinic where
she was advised to pay for a lawyer to assist her get back the properties that were confiscated by the bailiffs.
She managed to pay for a lawyer though she still owes him money.
Nyanyiwe says she reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission
(HRC), where she was told that estate matters did not fall under their
She also reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission, because she felt that there was some corruption involved.
At the ACC, Nyanyiwe was told to provide evidence for the complaints she had but this proved difficult for her.
She further reported the matter to Women in Law in Southern Africa (WILSA) who also told her they did not deal with such matters.
Other institutions she went to for assistance included Justice for Orphans and Widows, Women for Change and the Victim Support Unit.
Nyanyiwe also wrote to former Justice Minister Sebastian Zulu and Chief Justice Ernest Sakala regarding the way her case was handled at court.
She also wrote a letter to late former vice-president George Kunda.
Despite all these efforts, her late husband's family continued to fight her and finally got everything from her.
The allegations of her killing her husband resurfaced and she was reported to the police where she was arrested and charged with the murder of her husband.
Since murder is non-bailable, Nyanyiwe was remanded in custody for eight months before the court acquitted her.
While she was remanded in custody, the children went to live with one of her relatives.
Nyanyiwe says when she came out of prison, she had nothing to fall on.
"Even the house I lived in with my husband had been occupied by his relatives who threatened to kill me if I go near or just question them," she says.
Asked if she has reported threats of murder to police, Nyanyiwe says she has reported everything to police but nothing has been done about it.
She says upon release from prison, she stayed with one of her relatives for some time before she decided to get her children and live with them in a rented house.
Nyanyiwe says it was not possible for her relatives to continue looking after them as they also had other responsibilities and families to look after.
She says following a letter that was issued by the administrator general's office for her husband's family to vacate the house, it was given back to her even though all
the household goods were stolen and the house was in a dilapidated
Nyanyiwe says the matter was reported to the police and nothing has been
She says the family has continued threatening to kill her and she is now afraid of going back to the house she built with husband.
She says she does not want to associate with her husband's relatives, looking at what they have made her and the children go through.
Nyanyiwe says all she wants for now is justice to prevail.
She says she wants the Sheriff to give her back her properties, and the accounts re-opened for her to have access to the money and use it to take care of the children.
Nyanyiwe is also appealing for any form of assistance to help her start up something.
Her children say they also appealed to their father's relatives to leave them and their mother alone and also appealed to relevant authorities to ensure that justice prevails.
The children who say they had a good life when their father was alive narrate that life has not been easy.
They say they are unable to go to good schools like they did when he was alive.
"We are going through a hard time. Mum tries her best but it has not
been easy," says one of the children.
The children also refuse to go back to their family house because of the threats the father's relatives had been issuing on their mother.
Another child says he wants the father's relatives to give them back the cars especially the Pajero which belonged to his mother.
He says during the rainy and cold seasons, he finds it very difficult to go to school.
The children say their hasn't done anything to deserve what she is going through, adding that jealousy and love for money by their father's relatives is what has brought misery on them.
"Mum used to receive them well and we lived happily together, but we do not understand why they are treating us this way," they complained.
With all the cries from Nyanyiwe and her children, it is only hoped that the relevant authorities and institutions concerned will look into their plight and ensure justice prevails.