#Zimbabwe court fines side chick US$8000 for adultery
A HARARE woman has been ordered by a High Court judge to pay her lover’s wife $8,000 for having an adulterous relationship with the man.
Pamela Farai Zimba was recently brought before Justice Judith Mushore by Corah Mahachi, 70, who was seeking $25,000 in adultery damages.
Mahachi claimed that the Zimba, was involved in an adulterous relationship with her husband, Taurayi Mungate, and their unlawful union resulted in the birth of a baby girl in March 2017.
Zimba did not defend the suit although Mahachi had served the summons personally to her.
According to court papers, prior to summons being issued, Mahachi had in a letter requested Zimba to desist from continuing the adulterous relationship with Mungate.
Mahachi and Mungate have been married for 48 years. Mahachi warned her rival that if she carried on with the illicit relationship, she would sue her for damages and attached a copy of her marriage certificate to the letter.
“In terms of the instructions we have, you are engaged in an adulterous relationship with our client’s husband, one Taurayi Mungate, with whom it is alleged you are staying together,” the letter by Mahachi’s lawyers, Chiturumani Law Chambers reads.
“It is also alleged that you are planning to get married soon and our client even saw you in her house the past two weeks when she visited her husband at the plot.
“We would like to advise that what you are doing is called adultery and is an actionable civil wrong. Our client and Mr Mungate are legally married and hereto is a copy of their marriage certificate.”
The lawyers continued; “By this letter we formally advise you and at the same time ordering you to go away and leave our client’s husband within a week of being served with this letter failure of which we will take it without a shadow of a doubt that you are knowingly engaged in the adulterous relationship with our client’s husband.”
Justice Mushore heard that the adulterous relationship between Zimba and Munangate still subsists with the two staying at the family farm in Nyabira while Mahachi is staying at the marital home in Harare.
“This is in a brazen disregard of the offence she is causing the applicant (Mahachi),” Justice Mushore said in her ruling.
“It is very clear that the applicant has suffered distress, injury and personal insult due to the fact that this adulterous affair has been conducted openly, boldly and publicly.
“The respondent (Zimba) has breached the lawfully guarded sanctity of the marriage existent between applicant and her husband and even when she became aware that applicant had sought legal counsel and threatened suit against her and in fact filed suit, she continued co-habiting with applicant’s husband.”
The judge said by not responding to the letter of demand or to the suit itself, Zimba illustrated that she had no desire to vindicate herself, or even to end the affair.
“To add insult to injury respondent intends to marry the applicant’s husband, which will no doubt lead to the applicant’s ouster from the sacred marriage contract which the applicant is supposed to enjoy exclusively with her husband.
“Her disregard to the legal action taken against her leads me to conclude that she simply doesn’t care about disrupting the sanctity of a valid and existing marriage, neither does she fear the consequences of her actions. She has continued to inflict distress, humiliation and hurt on the applicant,” said Justice Mushore.
Mahachi told the court that Zimba was a ‘gold-digger’ who was after her husband’s wealth and she said, at 70 years of age, it would be impossible for applicant to start afresh as she had been rejected at a very advanced age and was thus suing Zimba for $25,000.
However, Justice Mushore ordered Zimba to pay a total of $8,000 to Mahachi in damages.
“There can be no doubt that this case calls for an award which would also serve as an example that the courts frown upon such conduct,” Justice Mushore ruled.