THE High Court has nullified Chief Negomo’s decision to fine Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for his alleged “taboo marriage” to Locadia Karimatsenga Tembo in November last year.
Chief Negomo issued a default judgment against the premier and fined him two cattle, two sheep, a 10-metre-long piece of cloth and a ball of snuff after the Movement for Democratic Change leader boycotted a hearing.
It is taboo in Shona culture to marry or conduct rituals in November, but the PM maintains that he only paid damages, while the Karimatsenga family insists that he married their daughter and paid lobola.
Following the chief’s sentence, two Bindura magistrates later issued conflicting verdicts on his ruling: a junior magistrate upheld it while a senior magistrate set it aside citing irregularities, precipitating a review by the High Court.
Selby Hwacha, the PM lawyer, said Justice Samuel Kudya in a judgment read on his behalf on Wednesday by fellow High Court judge Bharat Patel had set aside the chief’s verdict.
“Justice Kudya confirmed the senior magistrate’s finding that the Chief’s court and outcomes that he purported to have made are null and void and have no legal force or effect whatsoever,” said Hwacha.
Amongst the reasons given was that the Prime Minister does not fall under the chief’s jurisdiction as he does not live in his area, Hwacha added.
Chief Negomo had threatened to attach the Tsvangirai’s property, by the PM’s lawyer said with the latest judgment the chief would not risk carrying out his threat as he would be liable to arrest.
Last week, Tsvangirai engaged another Harare woman Elizabeth Macheka, the daughter of a Zanu PF central committee member and former Chitungwiza mayor Joseph Macheka.
Moving on ... Morgan Tsvangirai got engaged to Elizabeth Macheka in Highlands last Friday