FIRST Lady Grace Mugabe’s first born son Russell Goreraza allegedly made misrepresentations at the Harare Magistrates’ Court over his marital status in a reported bid to walk away with a lenient sentence after being recently convicted of culpable homicide, NewsDay can reveal.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Goreraza allegedly misled the court two weeks ago when he appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe on a charge of fatally running over a city vagrant.
However, investigations by NewsDay have established that Goreraza’s divorce matter was still pending at the High Court under case number HC11013/14.
According to the court papers, President Robert Mugabe’s step son filed for divorce against Gladys Chiedza Goreraza (nee Chiwaya) on December 11 last year and the matter was yet to be entertained by the judges of the High Court.
Goreraza told the court that he was a divorcee who was looking after his minor child with his “former” wife.
Goreraza’s submission, however, persuaded Chikwekwe to spare him a jail term and instead fined him $800 for an offence which often attracts incarceration and cancellation of the driver’s licence or prohibition from driving for a certain period.
Before sentencing Goreraza, Chikwekwe said: “In coming up with this sentence, the court has considered that the accused is a first offender who has pleaded guilty to the charge, thereby showing contrition and not wasting the court’s time. He is a divorcee who has one child to look after.
“However, I have not lost sight of the fact that an innocent life was lost because of his negligence. It is because of such drivers like him that our road carnage is increasing and it is appropriate that a deterrent sentence is pronounced.”
Chikwekwe ruled: “I, therefore, sentence him to pay a fine of $800 or in default of payment, to serve two months in prison.”
In his declaration, Goreraza said he got married to Gladys on December 11 2010 and their marriage was blessed with one minor child (name withheld) born on February 15 2013.
Their marriage, according to the attached marriage certificate number 20/2010, was solemnised by Catholic Church Archdiocese of Harare, Father Fidelis Mukonori.
Goreraza claims he and Gladys had irreconcilable differences and were incompatible with each other to the extent that they had not lived as husband and wife for the past two years.
“The marriage between the parties has irretrievably broken down to the extent that there are no prospects of restoration of a normal marriage relationship, more particularly in that there is no longer any love and affection between the parties and communication between plaintiff (Goreraza) and defendant (Gladys) has completely broken down,” Goreraza said in his summons.
Goreraza is the First Lady’s son with former husband Airforce of Zimbabwe wing commander Stanley Goreraza, who was appointed defence attaché at the Zimbabwean Embassy in China.
After receiving the summons, Gladys, through her lawyer Donald Sibanda of Sibanda and Partners, entered an appearance to defend notice in December last year and since then, Goreraza has not pursued the matter further as it remains pending in the courts.
Contacted for comment, Sibanda confirmed that he was representing Gladys, but declined to shed more light on the matter.
“Yes, I am the attorney for Gladys Goreraza, but not her spokesperson. I wish you could understand this distinction,” Sibanda said.
After being pressed to comment on the High Court divorce matter, Sibanda said before switching off his phone: “If you have seen the High Court papers, are you now seeking to cross-examine me over those documents?”
Efforts to get comment from Gladys proved fruitless as she switched off her mobile phone after realising she was being interviewed by NewsDay.