By Charles Laiton
Former Zimbabwe Warriors striker, Shingayi Kawondera has sued Vice-President Constantino Guveya Chiwenga’s wife Marry for US$700 000, claiming that she fraudulently obtained a divorce order against him to facilitate her marriage to the then army commander.
According to the court papers, Kawondera says the US$700 000 is compensation for the immovable property and a company called Latchelle (Pvt) Ltd which were awarded to Marry as a result of the divorce.
The former footballer claims he never consented to divorcing Marry as alleged in the court papers that formed the basis of the dissolution of their marriage in July 2011 and that his signature was forged.
Reports suggest that the Chiwengas customarily married in 2011.
Kawondera said when his marriage to Marry was nullified, he was in Cyprus where he was playing football and there was never a time when he signed court papers confirming receipt of summons seeking divorce by his ex-wife.
“The parties in this matter (Kawondera and Marry) were formerly married to each other and the parties’ marriage was dissolved by a decree of divorce granted by this honourable court on May 19, 2011. The defendant had issued summons out of this court on June 7, 2010 seeking an order of divorce and ancillary relief under case number HC3805/10,” he said through his lawyers.
“Plaintiff (Kawondera) was never served with the summons as required by the rules of the court. Plaintiff was not in the country, but was in Cyprus where he was a professional footballer at the relevant time.
“Defendant (Marry) fraudulently caused a return of service to be issued by the Deputy Sheriff at Harare falsely claiming that the plaintiff had been personally served with the summons on June 22, 2010 at Harare.”
Kawondera said Marry also fraudulently authored a consent paper dated July 7, 2010 wherein his signature was forged, agreeing to the divorce proceedings under HC3805/10.
The former Warriors star said in the said divorce proceedings, Marry also relied on an affidavit of a waiver and an amended affidavit of a waiver which purported to have been deposed by him.
“In actual fact, plaintiff never deposed to the said affidavits and the signatures purporting to be those of the plaintiff were forged by the defendant. The defendant also caused a firm of lawyers Samkange and Venturas to purport to act on behalf of the plaintiff and to make concession on plaintiff’s behalf. Plaintiff had never at any given time instructed the said firm of lawyers to act on his behalf,” Kawondera said.
“The cumulative effect of defendant’s fraudulent activities referred to above is that an order of divorce was granted on an unopposed basis. Plaintiff was never given a chance to either defend the divorce proceedings under HC3805/10 or to consent thereto.”
Kawondera averred that the High Court judge, who presided over the divorce proceedings, was misled by the VP’s wife into granting an unopposed order when, in fact, he was never made aware of the court proceedings.
“The granting of the divorce order without according plaintiff a chance to be heard constitutes a grave act of injustice and a serious infraction on plaintiff’s right to be heard. As a result of the irregular and fraudulent obtaining of a divorce order by defendant, plaintiff was seriously prejudiced in that: The defendant remained with all the immovable properties that the parties had acquired together during the subsistence of the marriage,” he said.
Kawondera said all of his clothes and property remained with Marry after the fraudulent divorce, thus he is now seeking an order for compensation against her.
“No distribution of the parties’ matrimonial assets occurred and plaintiff was left with nothing as defendant allocated to herself all the parties matrimonial assets, this, in spite of plaintiff having substantially contributed to the matrimonial estate,” he said.
“Plaintiff’s contribution to the formation and capitalisation of a company called Latchelle (Pvt) Ltd was not compensated. This is in spite of plaintiff having contributed various sums of money which defendant had started during the marriage.”
Kawondera added that as a direct result of Marry’s alleged fraud, he has been impoverished as she unjustly grabbed all the matrimonial assets that the parties had acquired together, contrary to the laws of Zimbabwe.
“Wherefore, plaintiff prays for an order that defendant is ordered to pay damages to plaintiff in the sum of US$700 000, interest at the prescribed rate from date of issue of summons until payment in full plus costs of suit on a higher scale,” he said. NewsDay