The High Court has thrown out a $13 394 post-divorce maintenance claim sought by Vice President (VP) Kembo Mohadi’s former wife Tambudzani Bhudhagi with the judge ruling that it was clear she wanted to punish Mohadi for divorcing her.
Justice Esther Muremba ruled that Mohadi cannot be burdened by looking after Tambudzani, a Zanu PF Beitbridge senator because she was once his wife adding that she should accept the VP had moved on with his life.
The two had been married for 47 years.
The judge said Tambudzani should stop acting like a traditional wife and fend for herself considering that she was also gainfully employed and walked out of the marriage with a fair share.
“In casu all factors considered it is my considered view that the applicant is not entitled to be maintained by the respondent,” said Muremba.
“While she is fairly advanced in age and has greatly diminished prospects of remarriage, she was awarded capital assets upon divorcing with the respondent.
“She got three pieces of real estate, two of which are developed, more than 500 herd of cattle, motor vehicle, Discovery Land Rover, 50 percent shares in a company, more than US$25 000 in value of farm assets and household goods. There is no doubt that these assets can provide her with the income she needs to support herself.
“She can still live comfortably even if she does not dispose of any of the two houses awarded to her. The applicant is still working and she can live off the assets she was awarded when the parties divorced. In the view of foregoing, I will dismiss the application,” ruled the judge.
Muremba accused Tambudzani of attempting to mislead the court by claiming that she was now living a miserable life, that she cannot afford decent meal and that she now used public transport while her dogs now feed on left overs because she can no longer afford dog food.
Tambudzani said Mohadi can afford money she was claiming because he operates mines, businesses and farming over and was a VP with a salary and benefits.
“I think the applicant was not being truthful with the court. If she was then her feeding on sadza and dried vegetables is certainly by choice. The applicant’s list of expenses shows that shows that she wants the respondent to pay for each and every item of her expenditure. She wants him to cater for her food , clothing, hairdo, perfume, entertainment, Wi-Fi, phone and airtime, security, fuel, driver, workers, old cars, utility bills, dog feed, medication and holidays.
“Throughout the hearing she did not disclose what she assign her income to. She kept saying it is the respondent’s duty to maintain her. The applicant portrayed herself as the traditional wife who believes that it is the respondent’s duty to maintain her.
“The impression she wants to create is that she wants to fix the respondent for leaving her and eventually divorcing her. This is buttressed by the fact that she is making claims for things she never enjoyed during the marriage,” she said.
However, Mohadi challenged maintenance arguing that she has no dependents to support and rentals to pay having been awarded two houses in Beitbridge and Harare.
The VP said he was living in a government house as after the divorce, he only got their rural home while Jompembe farm, where he farms was State property.
The judge said it was not disputed that she never had a personal driver and security personnel but wants them now.
Court also ruled that just like Mohadi, as a senator Tambudzani is entitled to car which she will purchase at the end of the parliamentary term.
“Besides this she was a warded a Land Rover at divorce. She did not explain why she is not using the vehicle.
“What came out is that the applicant is refusing to come to terms with the fact that her marriage has come to the end and that the respondent is no longer her husband. To make matters worse for her the respondent’s political fortunes have turned for the better ever since he left her. He is now VP of Zimbabwe and it appears that this does not sit well with the applicant. She wishes she was up there with him. This is why she wants the court to award her maintenance so that she can enjoy a standard of life she never enjoyed during the subsistence of her marriage,” ruled the judge.
Muremba said the argument by Tambudzani that Mohadi’s current wife enjoys all amenities and benefits is a clear testimony that the applicant is refusing to come to terms with the fact that the respondent is no longer her husband and that someone else is now in her former place.