HIGH Court judge Justice David Mangota is offering his estranged wife of nearly 30 years, an unspecified number of goats as final settlement in their ongoing divorce proceedings.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
Mangota has since applied to the court to have the divorce hearing conducted outside the public domain.
Mangota is divorcing Roselyne Grenny Mangota (nee Mdumo) over accusations and counter accusations of having divergent beliefs in the practice of cultural and mystical activities.
Mangota, in his summons for divorce, had been evasive about matrimonial property, saying the family had only livestock and personal movable belongings.
“The plaintiff’s claim against the defendant is for a decree of divorce and an order declaring that the plaintiff is the sole owner of cattle acquired during the marriage and the defendant is the sole owner of goats acquired during the marriage,” Mangota pleaded.
The judge, in his application filed with the High Court on March 31, seeks the court to bar members of public and the Press from attending his ongoing divorce proceedings. He is wary about salaries of judges and his private life getting into the public sphere.
Mangota, in his founding affidavit filed with the court, said: “In this application, I am seeking protection against publication of the legal proceedings in the above-mentioned divorce proceedings as well as this application.”
He added: “As I have indicated above, I am a judge of the High Court and it is my view that my and the respondent’s private lives should not be placed in the public domain. The maintenance and retention of my privacy is necessary to retain my stature in the eyes of the public whose matters I adjudicate.”
The application follows the parties’ failure to reach a divorce settlement at a pre-trail conference last month, automatically meaning the matter has to go to a full trial.
Mangota further intimated to the court that he was afraid that in the proceedings he would be forced to divulge his salary.
“As can be noted from the joint pre-trial conference minutes, the issue of maintenance forms part of the trial and it is evident that I will have to disclose my salary and, as a result, my salary would be awash in the Press. My salary as well as other judges’ (salaries) is a private issue which should not be publicised, but should remain a secret for the sake of the position a judge holds in society,” Mangota pleaded.
The application is likely to be heard when the High Court resumes after recess next month.
Mangota’s application follows Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga’s similar application when he divorced his then wife Jocelyn. The application then was upheld and the divorce proceedings and settlement were barred from being published.
Mangota is being represented by Chihambakwe, Mutizwa and Partners in the proceedings while his wife has engaged the services of Beatrice Mtetwa.