By Charles Laiton
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s estranged wife, Florence, has accused the Cabinet minister of engaging in an extra-marital relationship with an official from the Sheriff’s office, whom he has allegedly been using to falsify information on return of services in the couple’s on-going divorce matter.
Florence made the remarks in her opposing founding affidavit after Ziyambi approached the High Court seeking leave to serve her with divorce summons through publication in local newspapers.
In his application, which was entertained and granted by High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu on November 2, 2020, the minister said he had caused for summons to be issued on August 28, 2020 after his marriage to Florence had irretrievably broken down.
He further claimed in an attempt to serve the divorce summons to Florence, the Sheriff’s office attempted on six different occasions at both her given residential address and workplace, but their efforts were fruitless.
“Efforts to locate her (Florence) have been in vain. I have even made inquiries with the police officers who are manning her residence and her co-workers have not been forthcoming with the information regarding respondent’s (Florence) current whereabouts,” Ziyambi said.
“Respondent is aware that she has to be personally served with the divorce summons and would do anything to frustrate such personal service, that is why the police officers and her co-workers are not forthcoming on her current whereabouts and this has prompted me to file this present application.”
However, in her response to the claims, Florence dismissed Ziyambi’s assertions saying the minister was simply playing to the gallery and making fun of the divorce proceedings, more so by using his girlfriend identified only as Gamuchirai.
“This is a lie being perpetrated by the applicant (Ziyambi) to please his mistress as he is fond of embarrassing me and scoring bad publicity for me,” she said.
“I have been staying with the applicant throughout our marriage with him and he knows that as a fact. I will prove that fact at an appropriate stage before this honourable court.
“The applicant is also making fun of these divorce proceedings by lying to the court that I am nowhere to be found when he sits in the Cabinet Committee on Legislation which he chairs almost on a weekly or fortnightly basis. I sit in the same Cabinet Committee where I have always attended.”
She added: “… I understand the applicant, who is in some relationship with a senior officer in the Sheriff’s office, is cooking up these false returns of service with that person’s assistance. In the fullness of time, I will not shy away from identifying her in full, but she is called Gamuchirai.”
Florence further said she currently does not have a personal assistant as the one she used to have was promoted and the Office of the President and Cabinet was in the process of recruiting one for her.
She said the purported return of service by the Sheriff’s office was laden with lies.
“However, I deny that I was elusive or evasive to anyone since I am not being served with any harmful court process but divorce summons which the Sheriff maliciously published before I am even served,” Florence said.
Meanwhile, Justice Manzunzu has granted Ziyambi his application and allowed him to serve the divorce summons through the newspapers.
“Applicant be and is hereby granted leave to serve the summons under case number HC4714/20 and any other subsequent pleadings under the case number HC4714/20, including the notice of set down by way of publication in a widely circulating newspaper in Zimbabwe, namely the Herald, or any other publication circulating in Zimbabwe,” the judge said.
“Applicant to further serve the divorce summons (only) on a member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police who will be manning the respondent’s residence at 384 New Forest Marlborough, Harare.”The divorce matter is pending. NewsDay