By Daniel Nemukuyu
A Mutare diamond dealer, who made rich pickings at the height of diamond mining in Chiadzwa and acquired a fleet of vehicles and a house in a leafy suburb, lost his bid to send his erstwhile wife away empty-handed.
In a typical ‘rags to riches’ case, Mr Garikai Sigauke and Ms Portia Mhurushomana moved out of a single rented room in a high-density area to a ‘mansion’ of their own in a plush suburb of Mutare.
The couple bought 13 vehicles, among them top-of-the range models and other properties after their business flourished.
After the great transformation, Mr Sigauke, who was customarily married to Ms Mhurushomana, gave the woman a token of divorce and literally sent her away empty-handed.
Ms Mhurushomana together with her two minor children were evicted from the matrimonial home.
Just before the divorce, Mr Sigauke sold a vehicle he had bought for Ms Mhurushomana for $3 000.
Through her lawyers, Gonese & Ndlovu Legal Practitioners, Ms Mhurushomana filed an application at the High Court seeking a fair distribution of the property acquired during the subsistence of the 10-year marriage.
Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa ruled that Ms Mhurushomana contributed to the acquisition of the matrimonial home, No. 12 Taylor Avenue, Morningside, Mutare, and that she was entitled to a 50 percent share.
The judge ordered Mr Sigauke to pay $3 000 to Ms Mhurushomana as compensation for the Toyota Caldina he unilaterally sold.
The two were customarily married in 2007 but they did not solemnise the marriage.
Two children were born out of wedlock.
However, the pair parted ways at the end of last year after Mr Sigauke served Ms Mhurushomana with a traditional token of divorce.
Ms Mhurushomana had been a teacher since the time she first met Mr Sigauke who was unemployed in 2003.
Being a teacher, the woman told the court that she used to fend for the family and she even raised $4 800, which Mr Sigauke used as capital for the diamond business.
“The plaintiff gave the defendant US$4 800 that she had saved as capital and ZW$200.
“This, according to her evidence, was a turning point as the defendant successfully engaged in the diamond business. He would bring money ranging from $50 000 to $80 000 and at one time he brought $180 000,” reads part of the judgment.
The court also considered that Ms Mhurushomana also contributed professionally in the diamond business.
“As the diamond business thrived, she (Ms Mhurushomana) was the one doing books of accounts and would keep records of the amounts taken to buy diamonds, profit and rough record of the amounts used by the family . . .”
At one point, the couple ventured into the transport business and they bought two haulage trucks.
The court found Ms Mhurushomana to be a credible witness.
“She struck the court as an honest witness who even admitted that despite her husband failing in other business endeavours, he was successful in the diamond industry and took over the burden of paying rentals and began to provide for the family,” reads part of the judgment.The Herald