FORMER Minister of State in ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru’s Office, Sylvester Robert Nguni, has been taken to court by his former wife, Christine Silindeni Nguni, who is seeking an order to bring to life the couple’s divorce matter that was determined and completed almost 24 years ago.
BY CHARLES LAITON
According to Christine, when the divorce matter was determined in 1998, her legal counsel then, one P Nherere, was compromised to such an extent that he presented the matter without her instructions, culminating in unfair distribution of the couple’s matrimonial property.
Christine filed a court application for leave to appeal filed on October 22, 2018 citing Nguni as the respondent. The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.
“This is an application for leave to appeal against a judgment granted by (the late) Justice Esmael Chatikobo on April 22, 1998. The applicant’s (Christine) reasons for the relief sought are as follows: the applicant’s lawyer was compromised by the respondent (Nguni) as he was offered a position of directorship in Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (CCZ), a company in which the respondent was a chief executive during the period of matrimonial litigation process,” she said.
“The applicant was not consulted on how the matrimonial property and assets were shared and applicant did not even consent to the agreement of sharing of assets. The applicant should have benefited in equal share to the matrimonial home (House number 4 Hathaway Close, Chisipite, Harare) since the applicant contributed to the acquisition of the property in question.
“The applicant did not give the instruction to Mr P Nherere, who represented the applicant in case number HC6595/94 and number HC6596/94 in question. It is, therefore, against this background that the applicant prays for leave to appeal against the entire judgment of the honourable Justice Chatikobo HH65/98 in case number HC6595/94.”
But in Justice Chatikobo’s judgment, Nguni claims he bought the Chisipite property using money he obtained from United Kingdom and from selling other items he brought with him. He said Christine never contributed anything.
Justice Chatikobo said the cause of the breakdown of the Ngunis marriage was saddening in that at one point, Nguni fell ill, but the nature of his illness was not known.
According to the judge, modern medicine did little, if anything, to cure Nguni’s illness and desperation forced both Nguni and his wife to consult traditional and faith healers.
“One or two healers tried to cure Mr Nguni, but failed. They found a lady faith healer who came and cleansed the house and treated Mr Nguni and he made a miraculous recovery. The treatment went on for some time and Mr Nguni steadily continued to recover,” Justice Chatikobo said.
“In the meantime, the faith healer had started demands for some drinks and other niceties of life from the Ngunis until Mrs Nguni thought the faith healer had outlived her usefulness. Mr Nguni thought otherwise. He considered that his wife wanted him to die so that she could inherit his assets, hence she was now objecting to any further dealings with the faith healer.”
But according to Justice Chatikobo, Christine said as Nguni improved, the faith healer started giving the treatment water to their children as well.
She objected and it was her objection to the extension of the treatment to the children, which led to the final breakdown of the marriage.