FORMER Zanu-PF Manicaland youth provincial chairman Tawanda Mukodza's bid to walk down the aisle with his new found love hit a brick wall three weeks ago after his wife, who claimed to be customarily married to him, stopped his wedding which was set to take place at the Mutare Civil Court on June 20.
Mukodza's wife, Mavis Kasukusa, who had the strong backing of Mukodza's mother and sisters, blamed Mukodza of neglecting the three children they sired from their six-year marriage, which practically broke down when he found new love in Lorraine Nyamande, daughter to Zanu-PF National Consultative Assembly member, Alice Mutindori.
Kasukusa complained bitterly about Mukodza's extra-marital affair, saying Nyamande was using her mother's position in the ruling party to wreck her marriage.
"I am so bitter about my husband's affair with Nyamande and I want justice to prevail. Nyamande has wrecked my marriage and she has that courage because she is using her mother's position in the ruling party.
"Tawanda and I have three children from our marriage, but he is now turning his back on us. We are now struggling to make ends meet. He is now taking care of Nyamande's child, while his own biological children wallow in poverty," said Kasukusa.
She went on to accuse Nyamande of snatching her husband with whom she started from scratch.
"Tawanda and I worked together from scratch. When we got our farm in 2010, we started a Macadamia farming project and while it was flourishing, he jumped into an affair with Nyamande who is now enjoying the fruits of my hard work," she complained.
Mukodza, on the other hand, refused ever having been married to Kasukusa, but he failed to explain how he managed to sire three children with a woman he claimed to be just a girlfriend.
In a lengthy court session, which spanned over good weeks, with Mutare magistrate Mrs Sekesayi Chiundura presiding, Kasukusa's father breathed fire when he took to the witness stand, saying he wanted Mukodza to pay off his bride price before getting to marr another wife.
"I am not saying that Mukodza should not remarry, but I want him to pay off the bride price first. He had three children with my daughter and he cannot just walk away scot free, pangatofa munhu…, I want $50 000 as compensation from Mukodza," said Kasukusa's father.
While Mukodza's mother and sisters were rallying behind Kasukusa, his brothers were behind Nyamande.
Two of his brothers, Martin and Graeme took the witness stand and denied ever having known Mavis, claiming that the two were cohabiting and that Mavis had never been formally introduced to the family.
They also denied Kasukusa's father's claims that they were part of the delegation which went to Chipinge to pay lobola for Mavis' hand in marriage in October 2008.
However, Kasukusa's lawyer, Mr Eddie Chikamhi, said that the two were acting on instructions from Mukodza because he was the one who helps them financially.
"I put it to you that you are misleading this court because you are acting on instructions from your brother.
"Both of you are facing financial constraints and because he helps you out due to his stable financial standing, you are denying ever knowing my client," he said.
After the court session, Mukodza's mother, Mrs Loretta Mukodza, expressed disappointment over her son's behaviour and decisions, saying she would never support him as long as he wanted Mavis to go back to her parents' home.
"Coming to court in a wrangle with my own son breaks my heart, but as long as he wants Mavis to go back to her parents, I will remain at loggerheads with him.
"These boys (Mukodza and brothers) are saying they don't know Mavis, but they are lying. I stay with Mavis in Sakubva and it is impossible for them not to know her," she said.
Mrs Chiundura is set to deliver her verdict on the matter today (Friday).