New Zimbabwe.com

Chidyausiku widows in fight over late Chief Justice estate

By Mary Taruvinga


THE late chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s wives are embroiled in a bitter fight over their late husband’s estate.

The first wife, Mary has approached the High Court challenging the junior wife, Farai claiming that she lied that she was the only surviving spouse entitled to Chidyausiku’s benefits.

Mary has petitioned the High Court to thwart an application for pension benefits by Farai.

She listed Farai Chidyausiku, Judicial Services Commission, The Pension Master, Pay Master and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi as respondents in the matter.

She also claims that Farai had failed to tender her answering affidavit and was lying that she was legally married to the late Chidyausiku.

According to court documents, Farai was the first to approach the High Court on June 2.

The junior widow made an application for an order to compel Mary to sign documents necessary to process the late Chidyausiku’s terminal benefits and pension in her favour and paid into her accounts.

The Pension and Pay masters filed their notices of opposition.

Mary then sought to be joined as fifth respondent in that matter.

Mary then filed her notice of opposition but Farai did not file her answering affidavit or set the matter down within the required one month.

Now, in light of this, Mary wants Farai’s application dismissed for want of prosecution and ruled out any prospects of success.

“I duly submitted my pension form to the pension master and accompanied by my marriage certificate indicating that I was lawfully married to the late chief justice at the time he passed on,” said Mary.

First Respondent’s (Farai) application is based on false allegation that she is the only surviving spouse, which is untrue and misleading.

“As I fully explained no customary law marriage formalities were concluded between the late Chidyausiku and her family. I therefore concur with the third and fourth respondent’s assertion in their notice of opposition that they cannot be compelled to pay out any benefits until this court makes a determination on the identity of the lawful surviving spouse.”

Farai claims that she was customarily married to Chidyausiku in 2009.

She said she was issued with a diplomatic passport as the wife.

“During the late Chidyausiku’s tenure as chief justice I would accompany him on all official trips and cabinet authority shows that Zimbabwean government recognized me as his wife,” Farai argued.

Farai claims that when the late Chidyausiku retired he completed pension forms and declared her as his spouse.

The case is pending.