A ZVISHAVANE woman has been arrested for allegedly marrying two men after accusing her first husband of having failed to be intimate with her for the past 12 years.
The matter came to light when Moreblessing Maridza (41) of Platinum Park in Zvishavane appeared before the local magistrate, Mr Archie Wochionga facing bigamy charges last week.
She was convicted on her own plea of guilty and was sentenced to six month in prison. However, three months were suspended on condition that she pays a fine of $5 000 and the other three suspended on condition on she does not commit a similar offence in the next five years.
Maridza told the court that her first husband, Mr James Chivandire had become mentally challenged and was no longer capable of performing his duties as a husband prompting her to marry the other man.
The court heard that Maridza and Mr Chivandire wedded under Chapter 5.11 of the Marriage Act which prohibits a man or a woman from marrying more than one spouse.
Chivandire allegedly fell and suffered from mental illness in 2000 and became incapable of performing his duties as a husband.
In 2012 Maridza went on to marry a second husband, David Mhuru and wedded him under the same Marriage Act and the two started living together.
The matter only came to light in September when an officer at the Registrar-General’s office observed that Maridza had two valid marriage certificates.
Maridza said her and Chivandire last lived as husband and wife in 2000 before he became mentally ill.
The State proved that Maridza married and wedded Mhuru while fully aware that she was legally married to Chivandire under Marriage Act Chapter 5.11.
The court heard that sometime in September on a day unknown to the prosecutor, Mr Delphino Chikwanda who is employed at the Zvishavane Registrar-General’s office was going through records when he noticed that Maridza had two registered marriage certificates under Marriage Act Chapter 5.11.
Chikwanda then reported the matter to the police leading to Maridza’s arrest.
Mr Tinashe Muponde prosecuted.
— Sunday News