A young woman has said an unnamed lawyer and prominent political figure who was her blesser abused her during and after the relationship.
The young woman does not name the man or his political party in her expose, describing him as being in his mid fifties and divorced.
Debate on whether young women who get the good life by dating richer old men should label themselves victims when the party is over, is unfolding on Twitter and beyond after 24-year-old Maona Gadaga shared the story of her blesser chronicles.
Watch video here: https://youtu.be/XqVixc2-tAI
The account given by Maona on her video says the 55-year-old man offered to help advance her modelling career and he gave her everything she asked for.
“He approached me on social media and we later met personally when he came to see me. He told me he wanted a serious relationship with me and even wanted to marry me.
“We started seeing each other and we went out. I was amused by the life he offered me the life that I had never experienced before.
“I moved out from my parents’ house after they found out that I was dating a man who was 16 years older than my father,” she said.
“He told me I had to change my number and stop communicating with my parents and keep a few friends. I listened to everything he said because I thought he really loved me.
“I unfollowed all men on my social media accounts as he monitored my accounts including pictures that I had liked from two years ago.
“I ended up becoming his slave because I had to please him even sexually because he was doing everything for me and when I refused, he would accuse me of cheating with other men,” Gadaga said.
Gadaga said she was manipulated into believing her parents were intimidated by the blesser despite her parents’ warning.
She added that she became mentally depressed and resentful toward him due to the ill-treatment calling her a “twisted miserable unhappy junkie that seeks validation from men and social media".
Sympathy currency in short supply for Maona on Twitter streets
Responses to Maona’s tweet were mostly by hardliners who think she has no business calling herself a victim.
One called out Gadaga for saying her story is “touching” when she was not coerced into the relationship.
“Regerai chihure vana imi. (Stop prostituting yourselves, you young kids) I don’t feel sorry for such nonsense,” dismissed @mmrsavge.
Although there are a few messages of support and sympathy, the majority of responses is along the same lines with some users asking where Maona was when the going was good.
“Extortion playbook. This is a signal to the 55 year old or else if he doesn’t level you up you will reveal his identity. Slay queens never run shot of extortion tactics,” wrote @DMarukutira.
Some tore holes in the details of her account:
“So on the video you posted you remembered well the age of your blesser but not of your father. Chimwewo chandabata hangu as an unconcerned Citizen ndechekuti ladies always want to be victims of circumstances,” @ib_das tweeted.
Yet others accused Maona of playing political games in the silly season.
“Sounds like she dropped a lot of hints. 55/56... Lawyer... Well known.... In the upper echelons of a political party... Divorced in 2017...
I'm surprised she hasn't yet been dragged by party supporters because it seems it's pretty clear who she's talking about,” tweeted @Mupandasekwa90
Abuser must be brought to account:
Various gender champions said that while young women enter into the relationships willingly, that does not give the men a right to abuse them.
They said if Maona’s story is true, her abuser should be brought to account so that he does not continue his crimes against other young women.
Mens Forum director Walter Vengesai said abuse should not be condoned in any circumstances.
“Transactional relationships do not guarantee abuse, human rights apply to everyone and as a society we should shun from condoning violence,” he said.
Shamwari Yemwansikana Advocacy and Research Co-odinator Rudo Magwanyata echoed the same sentiments: “Nothing justifies abuse, we cannot sensitise abuse based on the circumstances that it happened. Abuse is abuse despite the dynamics of the relationship,” she said.
President Of Zimbabwe Christian Ministers Association Bishop Christopher Choto said we need to engage with such people and give them counselling.
“It is very sad that someone is crying for help and all we do is criticise them, if we ourselves cannot offer the help she requires then we can direct her to people who can. Telling her story in social media can also help other people who are going through the same experiences,” Bishop Choto said.