By Mary Taruvinga
THE riveting soap opera that has become of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and his embattled wife, Marry’s messy fall-out, took a further twist Friday when the defiant top government official quickly filed an appeal against an earlier High Court ruling granting her access to the squabbling couple’s matrimonial home in Borrowdale.
Justice Dube-Banda also granted the ex-model access to the feuding couple’s minor children and her matrimonial home in Harare’s upmarket Borrowdale suburb.
This was after Marry ran to the courts to claiming the once feared military boss had deployed soldiers at the family home to bar her from getting inside the premises.
Marry had been released from remand prison on bail following her arrest on accusations she attempted to kill Chiwenga when the latter was battling for life in a South African hospital sometime in July last year. She also faces fraud, money laundering and externalisation.
Chiwenga argued that Justice Banda erred in granting his estranged wife relief.
The appeal however suspends the order until it is heard and determined.
“The court aquo erred and misdirected itself on the facts and evidence in holding that the respondent had been despoiled,” argued Chiwenga through his lawyer Advocate Lewis Uriri who is being instructed by Manase and Manase legal practitioners.
“The court aquo erred and misdirected itself in granting more than spoliatory relief.
“The court aquo erred for the stronger reason in not finding that where an applicant for spoliation order alleges more than unlawful possession and adverts to the merits of her possession, the matter goes outside the purview of urgency…and that urgency in these circumstances must be established on the basis of the ordinary rules relating to urgency,”
As regards the children, Chiwenga said the court erred and misdirected itself in finding that the respondent had been unlawfully disposed of the children.
“The court aquo erred in dealing with the question of the children on the basis of the mandament van spoile in circumstance wherein section 5 (2) of the Guardianship of Minors Act provide for the procedure to be followed where the mother of minor children who is leaving separately from their father alleges unlawful dispossession of the children.”
Banda ruled Marry, despite having been in prison or on remand, has the right to the couple’s three children because they are still minors.
He said Chiwenga should have followed the law in barring Marry from getting back to her matrimonial home and having access to their children.
The judge said Chiwenga wrongfully took the law into his hands.
The Supreme Court is yet to be set down the matter for hearing.