Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s marriage to model, Mary, was irregular because her divorce from footballer Shingayi Kaondera was completed using forged documents, according to papers filed at the High Court this week.
Kaondera is now suing Mary for US$700,000, accusing her of “grabbing” all their matrimonial property and impoverishing him.
The footballer started his career at the defunct Darryn T before spells in Poland, Turkey and South Africa. Friends say he has hit the hard times, and currently lives in Ruwa, just outside Harare.
Through his lawyers Kashangura Law Chambers, Kaondera says Mary sought divorce from him in 2010. The marriage was dissolved by decree of divorce granted by the High Court on May 19, 2011.
The model customarily married Chiwenga – who was divorced from his wife Jocelyn – in 2011, reportedly paying US$47,000 as bride price.
But Kaondera, in papers filed on July 15, now says Mary never served him with the summons as required by the rules of court.
“Plaintiff (Kaondera) was not in the country but was in Cyprus where he was a professional footballer at the relevant time. Mary fraudulently caused a return of service to be issued by the deputy sheriff at Harare, falsely claiming that plaintiff had been personally served with the summons on June 22, 2010, at Harare,” the lawyers said.
“Further to that, defendant (Mary) also fraudulently issued with the honourable court a consent paper dated July 7, 2010, wherein the plaintiff’s signature was forged. Plaintiff never entered into a consent paper with the defendant regarding the divorce proceedings under HC 3805/10.
“In the said divorce proceedings, defendant also relied on an affidavit of waiver and amended affidavit of waiver which purported to have been deposed to by the plaintiff.
“In actual fact, plaintiff never deposed to the said affidavits and the signatures purporting to be those of 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.
“The cumulative effect of defendant’s fraudulent activities referred to above is that an order of divorce was granted on an unopposed basis.”
The lawyers say Kaondera was never given a chance to either defend the divorce proceedings or to give his consent.
“The honourable court was misled by defendant’s fraud into granting an unopposed order when in fact plaintiff was never 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 serious infraction on plaintiff’s right to be heard,” say the lawyers.
“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 and movable properties that the parties had acquired during the subsistence of the marriage.”
Kaondera’s lawyers say there was no distribution of the parties’ matrimonial assets, and the footballer “was left with nothing as defendant allocated to herself all the parties’ matrimonial assets… in spite of plaintiff having substantially contributed to the matrimonial estate.”
Property, including Kaondera’s clothes, “remained with the defendant after the fraudulent divorce.”
Kaondera cites the formation and capitalisation of a company called Latchelle (Private) Limited, for which he was not compensated “in spite of having contributed various sums of money to the venture which defendant had started during the marriage.”
“As a direct result of defendant’s fraud, plaintiff has been impoverished as defendant 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 as well as plaintiff’s costs of suit on a higher scale,” the court papers say.
Mary is yet to respond to the summons.
The lawyers did not explain why Kaondera waited eight years before bringing the lawsuit.
Mary is currently in South Africa where her husband is battling ill-health.