By Mary Taruvinga
THE High Court Thursday reserved judgment in the matter, which Vice President Constantino Chiwenga filed a chamber application seeking the termination of his marriage to his estranged wife, Mary Mubaiwa.
The chamber application was filed last November and Chiwenga wants the customary union between him and Mubaiwa terminated.
However, Justice Owen Tagu reserved his judgment indefinitely after hearing submissions from the two parties.
Chiwenga is represented by Lewis Uriri and Beatrice Mtetwa is representing Mubaiwa.
Presenting his arguments, Uriri said both parties were in agreement that their union had reached a dead end. He prayed that the court should grant Chiwenga relief to have the customary relationship terminated.
“By the general law of Zimbabwe, residual issues that are not common cause can be dealt with post the determination of the matters that are before the court,” Uriri said.
“The customary union between the parties ceased to subsist. Mubaiwa on the other hand, refers to the demise of the customary union she then filed counter-claims in which she seeks a specific order relating to the status.
“She specifically seeks an order that terminates the customary union.”
Uriri added: “She accepts, therefore, that the customary union has ended and she seeks that relief. The plaintiff (Chiwenga) does not contest that, he agrees that the customary union has ended.
“The reason for the demise of the customary union to use the defendant’s word is irrelevant; the fact is that the parties are agreeing that the union has ended.”
However, in her submission, Mtetwa said the redistribution of the estranged couple’s assets would affect Mubaiwa if she was not protected by the courts.
“My Lord, this is not the first time that the plaintiff has sought to unveil this procedure. This a procedure the plaintiff sought to follow in his last divorce against his wife and it was the then Deputy Chief Justice who set the matter aside and remitted the matter back to late Justice Andrew Mutema to have everything heard at the trial,” she said.
“So, in respect of that, the court thought that was the right position to follow. We respectfully submit that the same position must be followed in the present matter.”
The hearing started with heated exchanges between Mtetwa and Uriri. Mtetwa was arguing the notice of set down did not specify the purpose of the sitting.
She said she was merely at the courts as an officer of the judicial system.
Uriri shot back, saying Mtetwa’s argument was baseless because the chamber application was in order.
However, Justice Tagu said the hearing was only to deal with the chamber application and not the main matter before reserving his judgment.