By Staff Reporter
A Bulawayo woman who once made headlines over a love relationship she allegedly enjoyed with late MDC President, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been slapped with a $150 000 civil suit for adultery.
Aquiline Pamberi Mandeya was dragged to the High Court by Annamaria Dlamini, a South African-based woman, who is seeking damages.
The matter was heard before Justice Alphas Chitakunye on 9 January this year.
Dlamini and her husband are Zimbabwean nationals who acquired South African citizenship after moving to the neighbouring country where they got married in November 2015 in terms of South African laws.
However, the couple maintained another matrimonial home at Rest Camp in Bulawayo.
Dlamini told the court that Mandeya, on diverse occasions, committed acts of adultery with her husband at the couple’s Bulawayo home and was seeking $150 000 in damages.
However, Mandeya challenged the application arguing that Zimbabwe had no jurisdiction for hearing the matter as Dlamini had a South African marriage and under South African laws.
She argued that adultery damages were nolonger claimable, hence her suit was null and void.
However, this was trashed by the presiding judge who said that piece of argument was “without merit”.
“The argument raised by the defendant suggesting that this court has no jurisdiction because the plaintiff’s marriage was solemnised in South Africa is without merit.
“That argument in my view is misplaced,” Chitakunye said in his ruling.
The High Court judge further said Zimbabwe had not reached a stage where claims for adultery can be abolished.
“Any attempt at abolishing the delict may be met with fierce resistance to an extent whereby court will be going diametrically opposed to the public policy and community’s sense of justice in this regard.
“The Zimbabwean community still considers adultery as deserving of punishment to the paramour.”
The judge continued, “It is clear to me that the marriage institution in Zimbabwe is still held in sacrosanct and the need to provide some measure of protection is still considered necessary despite the high level of infidelity by those in such marriages; this being done for the sake of the innocent spouse.
“If such protection is removed, the innocent party would otherwise be tempted to take the law into his or her own hands as there would be no legal recourse to atone for the said loss of consortium and countemelia.
“Adultery is still prohibited by public opinion as an act of sexual incontinence.”
Justice Chitakunye also dismissed Mandeya’s special plea with costs.
In 2011, Mandeya made news headlines following her alleged love relationship with Zimbabwe’s late former Prime Minister.
The two denied they were in love.