British laws protect cheating spouses


ZIMBABWEAN couples in the UK are plunged into serious shock when they realise that the law does not protect them in cases where one partner cheats on the other.
If a husband finds his wife intimate in their bedroom with another man, the law does not allow him to ‘act’; the defence of provocation does not apply in marital infidelity.
The position of English Law is that the man must suck it up, if he dares attack any of the ‘enjoying’ partners, he will face the full wrath of the law with no extenuating circumstances.
In the UK, if two people are in agreement and having an extra-marital affair, then there is nothing a husband or wife can do about it.
He or she must just smile and forget about it.
This has promoted promiscuity among Zimbabwean couples who have found ‘protection’ of the law.
For example, anger arising from infidelity is not a defence in an assault case.
The ‘rationale’ is that no one owns anyone and therefore if a willing wife shares her ‘cake’ with a willing man, the husband must learn to control his temper.
Sadly, this has wreaked havoc on the Zimbabwean community in the Diaspora.
The absence of African remedies to address issues of infidelity have led to dire consequences.
Statistics from the media show that 40 percent of all female Zimbabwean murder victims in England (and just six percent of male murder victims) die at the hands of a former or present spouse or lover.
The home has become a dangerous place for women (as well as for children).
Whereas almost all cases of homicides committed by males on their female partners occurred after the female ended the relationship or announced her intention to do so, most of the homicides committed by females on their male partners were reactions to severe male domestic violence.
Nearly all male murderers claim they committed the murder out of love, a result of loving too much.
It is difficult to comprehend that you love someone to the extent you would kill him/her — a partner’s murder is definitely not an expression of profound love.
Zimbabwean men have given various explanations as to why they killed their wives.
In a survey carried out by this writer in prisons, many Zimbabwean men who have murdered their wives claim the women were ‘too protected’, which to them is enraging.
Most have regretted coming to the UK.
It should be noted that whereas wife-murder is undoubtedly the most extreme manifestation of male violence, it is not due to a single male quality, such as masculine possessiveness, and is not a ‘natural’ or ‘inevitable’ continuation of domestic violence.
It is a phenomenon that has been fuelled by the British law system.
The decay of morality in the Western world has shocked most men and women from Zimbabwe.
They may be in Britain but Britain is not in their mind.
The murder is not an unintended result of violence that went too far as most of these murders, it seems, are well-planned.
Furthermore, wife-murder cannot be understood in terms of loss of control or insanity. It is rather a deliberate act which is the result of profound despair making one ready to destroy the other even if this means destroying oneself.
Explaining the murder by referring to a single, central variable such as male possessiveness or jealousy is simplistic and partial.
The murder should be understood as a phenomenon anchored in a certain constellation of factors that combine and create the ‘conditions for murder’.
These people, both men and women, have been uprooted from their culture and now do not know how to behave and act in the English culture.
While the English culture and its systems give people freedoms, the beings granted these ‘new rights’ are still African in mentality.
Although masculine possessiveness as well as jealous and anger all play a role in the full range of factors that produce a readiness to take the life of a partner, it is more accurate to consider the motive for murder in terms of conditions that are favourable for the development of murderous violence, rather than in terms of one central personality variable.
The Zimbabwean man or woman perceives the partner to be his or her whole world so that he/she feels any separation entails a loss of own identity.
The cultural differences here shock people.
The defence and protection, at law, of what might be termed inexcusable back home is too much for many.
The man’s traditional perception of masculinity, which dictates that the male has full power, honour and control is significantly altered here.
For instance, men’s behaviour is rigid and uncompromising and they feel humiliated and seriously undermined if the wife is taken by another man.
Thus in the English legal system where a woman appears to be over-protected, a man feels left out and ends up taking the law into his own hands.
Zimbabwean men in the UK, who have committed murder, have mostly claimed they could not function without their women and their manhood was emasculated.
The best thing for Zimbabweans to do in the new environment is to be compliant, hope to God that the wife or husband is faithful as no amount of provocation will protect one from prison.
Nobody ‘owns’ anybody and what your wife or husband does with his or her body in the UK can only be a reason for divorce and not anything else.


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