Tuesday, 31 May 2022

HE MARRIED ME FOR BOTSWANA PAPERS : WOMAN SEEKS DIVORCE

A HARARE woman got the shock of her life after discovering that her husband was legally married to another woman.

Grace Mudisy had met Charlton Kozanai Aggripa Sithole, sometime in 2015, while she was working as a teacher, in Botswana.

The two travelled back home in January 2016 to solemnise their union, with Sithole promising to pay lobola later.

The plan was for the two to prove they were a couple, in order to ease Sithole’s stay in Botswana, under Mudisy’s permit.

However, Mudisy claims after going through her husband’s documents at his home in Mutare, she discovered that Sithole, who had presented himself as a single man, had a pre-existing marriage with someone else.

This meant that Sithole had two marriages in subsistence.

Mudisy recently approached the High Court seeking to nullify her marriage to Sithole.

She wants a probe into why her husband was allowed to marry her in the first place.

“I confronted Sithole about the marriage certificate and he did not deny that his marriage to his alleged ex-wife still subsists.

“It became apparent to me that Sithole was and is still married in terms of the Marriages Act (Chapter 5:11) and was not divorced.

“The discovery that he is married to another person caused unrest in our marriage,” wrote Mudisy in her papers.

She claims she was never introduced to Sithole’s family.

“I concluded to myself that I was never his real wife because he failed to fulfil his promise to pay a bride price for me, in accordance with our African culture after our civil marriage.

“He never introduced me to his family members as a wife and only told his mother that I was his friend.

“More-so, he would avoid my parents and siblings at all costs such that he would sometimes sleep in the car, whenever my father came to visit us,” she said.

Mudisy moved back into the country in 2018 before instituting the divorce proceedings last year.

No child was born out of the union.

Mudisy argued that her marriage to Sithole was a nullity and she must be freed.

“In this regard, my interest is an existing right to free myself from a marriage which in actual fact is non-existent.

“The only recourse available for me is for this court to declare my marriage to Sithole null and void,” she wrote. H Metro

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