Thursday, 31 August 2017


ZANU-PF chairman for Harare province Senator Charles Tawengwa, who is embroiled in a messy divorce with his wife of 36 years, has been ordered to pay monthly maintenance of $1 000 towards the upkeep of the woman pending termination of the union.

The divorce proceedings have proved costly to the politician after the same court also ordered him to contribute $8 000 to pay lawyers representing the estranged wife in the main divorce case.
Mrs Getrude Tawengwa applied for maintenance after Sen Tawengwa neglected her following the filing of the divorce papers at the High Court. The 58-year-old unemployed housewife told the court that although the couple was living under one roof, the politician had reneged on his obligation to maintain her.

Mrs Tawengwa had applied for maintenance in the sum of $1 500 monthly, but High Court judge Justice Nyaradzo Munangati-Manongwa reduced the figure to $1 000. The judge found the woman to be fully dependent on Sen Tawengwa, hence an order compelling the politician to finance the woman’s litigation.

“Accordingly, I award the applicant the amount of US$1 000 per month as maintenance pending finalisation of the litigation. A claim of $8 000 is, in my view, reasonable given the nature of the claims in the divorce proceedings and that her legal representative is fairly senior.

“That being so, her claim is justified and having managed to satisfy the requirements for contribution towards costs, she is entitled to the relief sought.

“Given that the applicant had made a case that she is unable to fund her divorce proceedings and her only income is US$300 which respondent is paying as maintenance, I find it proper to grant costs in her favour on a client-attorney scale as prayed for in the order,” the judge ruled.

Sen Tawengwa had misrepresented to the court that he earned $1 200 as a Senator, but it later came to light that he was entitled to monthly allowances of $2 000. The court also found that he was a man of means and that he was in a position to pay the monthly maintenance and the legal costs without challenges.
“The respondent paints a picture that he has no means and applicant needs no more than the $300 he is already paying.

“Payslip attached by respondent as an annexure shows a net salary of $2 113 although respondent refers to his income as $1 207. This shows an underestimation of over $900, which I find to be deliberate.

“The respondent has three immovable properties registered in his name being Lot 1 of Lot 213 of Greendale measuring 4 065 square metres, Lot 1 of Lot 8 of Philadelphia Township of subdivision B of Gnomewood of Philadelphia measuring 8 094 square metres held under Deed of Transfer 7108/90 and Stand 8137 Kuwadzana Township held under Deed Number 8283/87 . . .”

The judge added that Sen Tawengwa has shareholding in other five immovable properties owned by companies linked to him. Sen Tawengwa and his wife have been married for 36 years and their union was blessed with four children, who are now adults.

Mrs Tawengwa issued summons for divorce last year and since then, the politician had withdrawn her support. The court heard that she was now relying on financial assistance from their children. When he filed his response to the divorce case, he started paying a paltry $300 towards the upkeep of Mrs Tawengwa, which the court viewed to be insignificant. Herald


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