At the heart of the Morrison Farm about three kilometres east of Chivhu in Zimbabwe is a small village where many kitchen huts sprout on a hill top. Inside each of the huts is a young woman, either pregnant or with a baby strapped to her back and busy with household chores.
It is in this village that 53-year-old war veteran Shadreck Chimbare a member of Johanne Marange Apostolic Church has fathered 111 children with 28 wives. In a wide-ranging interview with The Mirror, Chimbare, who is popularly known as Comrade Scorpion, his war pseudonym, said he could not waste his virility when he is capable of taking care of his brood. He says that his wives are not sexually starved.
He sleeps with four every night and by so doing ensures that he provides conjugal rights to each one of them at least once every week. Scorpion considers that enough for a woman. “I will take another wife very soon. I have a strong affection for my children and all their mothers.
I know all of my children by name and can identify them without the assistance of their mothers,” said the war veteran. Fifty-eight of his children are male. He took his first wife in 1992.
His eldest child, a member of the Zimbabwe National Army now 26 years old, will perhaps take after him since he has already taken three wives. The youngest of Comrade Scorpion’s children are twins who are just two weeks old.
In 2019 alone, he has already welcomed nine children and seven of his wives are expecting.
He rubbished the possibility that some of his children might not know each other. Johanne Marange Church is an apostolic sect well known for its doctrines which promote polygamy in line with the African tradition and the biblical Jewish cultural tradition.
Comrade Scorpion, a church elder with a Rabaoma (Prophet) title in the church, was born in Buhera in Chimbare Village under Chief Nyashanu’s area. His father, also of the Johanne Marange church, is a village head and polygamous. Comrade Scorpion left his home in 1975 to join the liberation struggle.
He said he cherishes his big family but admitted that it was a mammoth task to fend and provide enough for every child and wife.
The war veteran said contrary to the common beliefs that men of the Johanne Marange Church are taken care of by their wives, he works hard to make sure that his family does not starve.
The Zanu PF party stalwart gave up his elected post as a councillor for Ward 16 in Buhera and settled down for farming in the fertile soils of Morrison Farm. He even closed his T-brush company in Chitungwiza, a small enterprise for making brushes in preference of farming.
“This year, I am expecting a harvest of about 80 tonnes of maize produce. Last year I harvested more than 100 tonnes and I sold surplus to the GMB.
However, there were good rains last season as compared to the erratic rainfall patterns of this current one, so the harvest will be slightly lower than that of the previous season,” he said. He has ventured into cash crops such as soya beans, peas, cotton and tobacco.
It is against his church doctrine to grow tobacco so he hired workmen to do the farming on his behalf. He gets enough money to send his children to school and buy basic necessities for the family.
Because he has always had surplus food in his stocks, Comrade Scorpion said he still has the urge to sire more children who would feed on his sweat and toil.
Scorpion claims that his wives are well fed and properly taken care of and has proved to be a good husband such that some of his in-laws have offered him more than two daughters for marriage. He has five pairs of biological sisters as wives.
“All my wives are like sisters to each other. I have never had any fights or quarrels amongst them because I treat them fairly.
Whether there are some who are jealousy towards each other, I don’t care because, I am very fair,” he stressed.
He claims that he shares a bed with four of the 28 wives each night.
“I visit each of my wives’ bedroom at least once every week. That’s good enough for them not to miss me,” he added boastfully.
He insisted that he loves his wives and enjoys their company, but nonetheless, he refused to have a picture taken with some of them.
“Handina nguva yekutambisa (I don’t have time to waste)”, he declined.