IT is a tale of from riches to rags for a once prominent Victoria Falls businesswoman who now lives in a brothel after her white husband dumped her allegedly because she bore a black child.
The 38-year-old mother of four, Promise Tsepiso Mathe, was married to a white businessman Michael Jones and they had two coloured children together.
The couple ran the popular Hunters Club and some shops in the resort town but the world crumbled on Mathe after the birth of her last son, who is now five.
It is said Jones dumped Mathe and relocated to the United Kingdom about three years ago after she bore a black child whom he claimed was not his. The couple’s two other children are aged eight and 13 while Mathe has an older son from her previous marriage.
Within a few months of Jones’ departure, his businesses crumbled and Mathe sunk into debt.
She is now a well-known regular at night spots in the resort town.
“At some point she left town for some days and when she came back suppliers were looking for her as they wanted their money which she had spent. That is when she went into hiding and started living in a tuck shop,” said a source.
Mathe now lives with her children in one room at a house popularly known as Dete in Chinotimba’s Railways section. It is called Dete because it used to be the habitat for prostitutes from Dete.
Mathe, who is also still referred to as Mrs Jones, told Chronicle that she would be joining her white hubby soon.
“I know that people say I was dumped because I bore a black child but we talked about it with Jones and he told me not to mind gossipers because he knows the child is his. Some paternity tests were done and we have no problems with Jones and I will be following him with the kids soon,” she said.
Jones and Mathe were legally married but it is said he left with the marriage certificate which he has refused to hand over.
Mathe denied squandering proceeds from the upmarket club now occupied by a mobile phone operator.
“It is not true I failed to manage my business. What happened is that when Jones left he told me that he left the business for me but later on his business partner Bonface Sithole told me he was the director and I was not supposed to handle any finances, stock or books and before I knew it the business had crumbled”.
She added: “I was still an alien then being half Zambian and half Tswana blood and couldn’t register it in my name. People will always have something to say but I don’t mind”.
However, a source said Mathe started living an extravagant life frequenting bars while she was in debt.
“She moved to a brothel as she could not afford rent and creditors were after her. A top MDC-T official had to clear her rental arrears as she failed to pay after Jones left her because she bore a black child.”
Mathe confirmed she would sleep in a tuck shop with her four children but denied it was because she could not afford rentals.