FLAMBOYANT property mogul Phillip Chiyangwa has filed an appearance to defend the divorce litigation brought before the High Court by his estranged wife, Elizabeth (nee Jumah), who is seeking termination of the couple’s 30-year-old marriage citing irreconcilable differences.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Elizabeth rekindled the divorce proceedings on January 11 this year after the initial application filed in 2013 failed to materialise following what appeared to have been efforts to amicably resolve the matrimonial impasse by the couple.
“Take notice that on January 23, 2018, the defendant [Chiyangwa] entered an appearance to defend this action. The summons was served on the defendant on January 22, 2018. The defendant’s address for service is care of his undersigned legal practitioners, Kantor and Immerman,” Chiyangwa’s lawyers said.
In her declaration, Elizabeth said she married Chiyangwa on November 11, 1988 in terms of the Marriage Act (Chapter 37, now Chapter 5:11). The marriage still subsists, but she said she had since lost love and affection for Chiyangwa and both had a mutual wish to be divorced.
“The relationship between plaintiff (Elizabeth) and defendant (Chiyangwa) has irretrievably broken down and there are no reasonable prospects for the restoration of a normal marriage relationship, more particularly in that; the parties have been living apart for a continuous period in excess of 12 months, since plaintiff moved out of the matrimonial home on September 18, 2016,” Elizabeth’s lawyers, Zigomo Legal Practitioners, said.
“It is accordingly just and equitable that the marriage relationship between the parties be dissolved based on their mutual consent. It is reasonable and practicable, and just and equitable, pursuant to the provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act that the matrimonial estate between the parties be divided in the manner set out in the original consent paper executed by the plaintiff and defendant in the presence of their legal practitioners that is to be filed of record with this honourable court based on their mutual consent and agreement.”
The Zifa boss and Elizabeth’s marriage hit a turbulence in 2013 when Elizabeth filed divorce papers, claiming 85% of the couple’s assets and $83 000 per month for 120 months as maintenance after the termination of the matrimony.
However, a year later the flamboyant businessman wrote to the High Court requesting that his divorce case be scrapped off the court roll as the parties were reportedly locked in out-of-court negotiations to stop their acrimonious divorce.
In her affidavit, Elizabeth said she was seeking to divorce the Native Investments Africa Group founder over alleged infidelity and demanded a lion’s share of the family’s estimated $230 million estate.
But Chiyangwa objected to the divorce accusing Elizabeth’s lawyers of incompetence for listing some properties that did not belong to him without verifying.