A 2015 High Court ruling that gives a husband of a cheating wife the right to reclaim lobola in full has been revisited after reports that a local socialite who recently got married was exposed of lying to the husband that the child he was raising was his.
Reports suggest that the socialite’s friends told the husband during a confession game after consuming some hot stuff that the child was his and the claim was confirmed by a DNA test.
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Discussing the matter, Zimbabweans revisited the September 2015 case of Chikudza Fanuel Mangwende (appellant) versus Liberty Machodo (respondent) in which High Court of Zimbabwe judges Uchena and Mwayera dismissed the appellant’s claim for payment of the outstanding lobola.
They upheld the Magistrates Court ruling which was based on the grounds that the wife of the respondent had cheated thereby materially breaching the very tenants of lobola.
The court concluded that the father of the cheating woman was not entitled to payment of the balance of lobola because his daughter who was married to the respondent committed adultery with multiple partners ranging from the respondent’s brothers, nephews and the herd boy.
The court also found that customarily a husband is allowed to divorce an adulterous wife and then if he has paid lobola in full he is entitled to a refund of the lobola from the in-laws.
The court concluded that the appellant’s daughter engaged in an adulterous relationship with multiple partners and that she by so doing breached the marriage relationship.
This conduct was ruled as not entitling the appellant to payment of the outstanding lobola. The Magistrates Court spelt out that under customary law a man who would have paid lobola is entitled to a refund if the wife engages in adultery.
Further, the Magistrates court stated that parents whose child would have committed adultery are not entitled to payment of the balances of lobola.
The very purpose of lobola is what was flouted by the appellant’s daughter thereby severing the marriage relationship. The respondent did not choose to condone the adultery but to divorce his wife for the gross misconduct.