Woman challenges adultery law

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By DESMOND CHINGARANDE
AHARARE woman, who is facing a US$50 000 lawsuit for adultery, has been granted relief to approach the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to challenge the law, which she says is no longer part of Zimbabwean law.

Ratidzo Nyamuchengwa, who is being sued by her former friend Marvelous Marufu for adultery, was yesterday granted the relief by High Court judge, Justice Emilia Muchawa.

Nyamuchengwa argues that adultery is no longer an offence in Zimbabwe because the charge is inconsistent with chapter 4 of the Constitution.

The ConCourt is expected to give a ruling after hearing her arguments.

She wants the court to show whether the common law of adultery is consistent with subsection (1) of section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, insofar as it allows her to be sued, while simultaneously precluding the complainant from suing her former husband for the same acts.

Nyamuchengwa also said the claim was unconstitutional as it exposes her to the prospect of being questioned and made to testify on an intimate and personal matter pertaining to her private sexual relations.

She also complained that the law calls for scrutiny of, and publicity of her alleged sexual liaisons or other relations with Marufu’s former husband.

Another query that she wants to raise is whether the common law restricts her from freely associating with any consenting adult person she chooses.

“To that end the Constitutional Court shall determine whether the common law delict of adultery sued upon by plaintiff is consistent with subsection (1) of section 56 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013 insofar as it allows the plaintiff to sue the defendant whilst simultaneously precluding her from suing her former husband for the same acts upon which she sues the defendant,” Muchawa said.

The man at the centre of the controversy is Albert Mhondoro who allegedly used his wife’s savings to marry Nyamuchengwa.

There was drama on the day he paid lobola for his new wife, after Marufu stormed the proceedings demanding her money and man back.

Mhondoro has since dumped his family and is now living with Nyamuchengwa. According to court papers, Marufu and Mhondoro wed on March 19, 2018 and celebrations were held on April 7, 2018.

Nyamuchengwa also attended the wedding and bought gifts for the couple.

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