BY CHARLES LAITON
HIGH Court judge Justice Ester Muremba has ordered Vice-President (VP) Kembo Mohadi and his former wife Tambudzani Bhudagi Muleya to appear before her in person, on Wednesday next week, to explain their positions in the ongoing maintenance wrangle.
The order by Justice Muremba came after the two parties instructed their lawyers to present their submissions before the court in a matter in which Tambudzani is claiming post-divorce maintenance totalling US$13 394.
The VP has since dismissed the maintenance claim saying he is not obliged to pay.
Mohadi is being represented by Advocate Edley Mubaiwa, while Tambudzani is represented by Advocate Tawanda Zhuwarara.
However, Justice Muremba said maintenance matters were not conducted in the same manner as other civil trial matters, but they were conducted in an enquiry manner and, as such, parties were sometimes required to present themselves in person in order to give evidence and to be cross-examined.
“The respondent (Mohadi) denies that there is justification of the maintenance claim by the applicant (Tambudzani). The parties should, therefore, lead evidence and this is a matter that requires a full enquiry to be conducted. The applicant must give evidence and the respondent given a chance to cross-examine her. The respondent must also testify on why he says he cannot pay maintenance,” Justice Muremba said.
In his affidavit replying to the maintenance claim, Mohadi scoffed at his former wife’s application, accusing her of playing games with the court and attempting to embarrass and harass him.
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Mohadi and Tambudzani’s marriage was dissolved last year and just after the nullification, she petitioned the court seeking post-divorce maintenance.
In her claim, Tambudzani argues that while she was staying with Mohadi before their marriage hit hard times, they purchased various businesses which were now being controlled by the VP and she was now surviving on a minimal allowance from her position as a Beitbridge senator.
In her application, Tambudzani insisted that it was just and equitable for her to be awarded
$13 394 as maintenance, which would enable her to afford and maintain a standard of living reasonably comparable to the standard of living she used to enjoy while living with Mohadi.
But in his response, Mohadi said Tambudzani was a woman of means who was simply trying to play games with the court.