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Approach re: Marriage Categories and the Effect of Classification of Marriages

HH43-12 : SHELTER MAVATA vs JAMES CHIBANDE
Ruled By: OMERJEE J and HLATSHWAYO J

This is an appeal against the decision of the Chitungwiza magistrate handed down on 25 March 2009, awarding the appellant 15% of the value of the immovable property acquired by the parties during the subsistence of their four year unregistered customary law marriage.The plaintiff listed her grounds of appeal as ...
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HH120-12 : JOHN MAUCHAZA vs SARAH NOTA
Ruled By: GOWORA J and PATEL J

On 10 July 2006, the respondent herein, whom I shall refer to as the plaintiff, issued summons in the Magistrates Court, Harare against the appellant, the defendant, claiming “sharing of property.”Particulars of claim attached to the summons made reference to a customary union which resulted in the establishment of a ...
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HH42-08 : JAMESON MANDAVA vs TSITSI CHASWEKA
Ruled By: MAKARAU JP and HLATSHWAYO J

On 23 May 2005, the respondent issued summons out of Marondera Magistrates' Court. Her claim against the defendant, as it appears on the face of the summons, is recorded as “sharing property”. An affidavit was attached to the summons, curiously titled, in my view, as “Applicant's supporting affidavit (Property Sharing)”.In ...
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HH35-10 : RUTH MUSONZA (nee MTANAUKWA) vs ESHMAEL MUSONZA
Ruled By: GUVAVA J

The parties married on 13 December 1992 in terms of the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11]...,.The marriage was an unhappy one filled with physical and emotional abuse. The plaintiff left home on numerous occasions but always returned in the hope that the marriage would work. In October 2006, however, things came ...
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HH209-10 : PETER NYANDORO vs CHRISTOPHER MUKOWAMOMBE and JULIA MUKOWAMOMBE and MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
Ruled By: GUVAVA J

Emilia Mukowamombe was the next witness. She testified that the deceased was her elder sister. She stated that the applicant did not visit the deceased when she was ill or when she was admitted in hospital. She further stated that although he attended the funeral she did not know whether or not he conducted ...
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HH02-13 : RUMBIDZAI SHAAMANO vs JABULANI NKOSI
Ruled By: CHITAKUNYE J

The plaintiff and defendant began living together as man and wife in 1998 after the defendant had paid lobola for the plaintiff. Their union was never solemnised. Their union was blessed with three children who are still minors. In July 2009, the plaintiff issued summons out of this court against the defendant. She alleged that ...
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HH133-11 : PLAXEDES MUKONDE vs PAUL ZENGENI
Ruled By: GUVAVA J and MAWADZE J

This appeal serves to highlight once again the errors which are made by trial magistrates when dealing with cases involving an unregistered customary law union. The first error related to the recognition of the customary union as a valid marriage. In terms of section 3 of the Customary Marriages Act [Chapter 5:07] no marriage ...
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HH287-14 : FRANCIS MAKANDIRASA MAZARURA vs RHODAH KATIVHU
Ruled By: MWAYERA J

The plaintiff, also from the import of his evidence and witnesses, in particular his uncle and the Village Head, sought to prove ownership by alluding to the fact that the defendant had been divorced by his father, and, as such, had no right to remain on the Plot. He sought to rely on the custom ...
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HH288-14 : CHRISTINE GOREMUSANDU and GODFREY MAHENGA vs EUNICE CHITAMBARA and MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT and THE REGISTRAR OF DEEDS
Ruled By: MWAYERA J

It is also important to mention, in passing, that it emerged in submissions that the applicant was seeking to have the marriage of the first respondent to the late Godfrey Zakeo Mahenga nullified. Our law is very clear that the existence of a customary law marriage cannot nullify a civil marriage or existence of any ...
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HB17-16 : WINNIE MPOFU vs FLOPPA LEAH MLAVU a.k.a LEAH FLOPPHEL MLAVU and ESTER KELLI (N.O.) and THE ASSISTANT MASTER
Ruled By: MATHONSI J

Section 68(4) of the Administration of Estates Act [Chapter 6:01] is an interesting provision. It reads: “A marriage contracted according to the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11] or the law of a foreign country under which persons are not permitted to have more than one spouse, shall be regarded as a valid marriage for the purposes ...
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HB90-16 : L. SACRE KWETE MINGA vs ITAYI MATIVONESE GUNDA
Ruled By: TAKUVA J

It is trite that a customary law union is created upon payment and acceptance of “roora” at a ceremony involving the groom, or his relatives, and the father, guardian or some relative of the bride. The parties negotiate through a go-between whose services are paid for by the groom's family….,. MOREBLESSINGS BUSI-CHITAURO-MAWENA of the African ...
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HH65-15 : SYDNEY USHE vs DOROTHY VIOLET MADZONGA
Ruled By: UCHENA J and MWAYERA J

The appellant sued the respondent, in the Magistrate's Court, seeking a decree of divorce and ancillary relief. They were married in terms of the Customary Marriages Act [Chapter 5:07]. The trial court granted him the decree of divorce and orders granting custody of their minor children to the defendant and distribution of their matrimonial property. The appellant was ...
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HH77-15 : JONASI DONDO N.O. vs MAGNA MUGANHIRI and RICKY KANDEMWA and MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT and THE REGISTRAR OF DEEDS
Ruled By: TSANGA J

Whether the defendant was lawfully married to Isaac Chabveka No convincing evidence was, in my view, put forward to support the claim by the first defendant that she was indeed a wife at customary law and not just a mistress at the time when the defendant married Liya in 1995 under a civil union. Notably, no ...
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HH94-15 : STELLA HAPAGUTI vs CECIL MADONDO (as Executor Dative in the Estate of the Late EXISTO FRANCIS HAPAGUTI) and MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
Ruled By: CHITAKUNYE J

Section 68(4) of the Administration of Estates Act [Chapter 6:01] states that:- “A marriage contracted according to the Marriages Act [Chapter 5:11] or the law of a foreign country under which persons are not permitted to have more than one spouse shall be regarded as a valid marriage for the purposes of this Part, even if, when ...
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HB143-16 : SIFISO KHUMALO vs SIHLESENKOSI NDLOVU and ZANELE NDOWA and POLKA EXECUTORS SERVICES PL and OFFICER IN CHARGE LUVEVE POLICE STATION and ASSISTANT MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
Ruled By: MAKONESE J

The applicant avers, in her founding affidavit, that she was customarily married to the late Rejoice Ncube who died at Bulawayo on 31 March 2016. The marriage was conducted in accordance with customary rites sometime in April 2015….,. The applicant provided evidence of the customary marriage in the form of a note which she said ...
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HH468-18 : KETHIWE VAN DER SANDEN vs ROBERTUS ANTOINE W. VAN DER SANDEN and ROY MASAMBA and REGISTRAR OF DEEDS N.O.
Ruled By: CHIRAWU-MUGOMBA J

The alleged customary law union between the applicant and the first respondent In her founding affidavit, the applicant averred that she was in an unregistered customary law union with the first respondent before 'upgrading' their marriage to one under the Marriage Act [Chapter 5:11]….,. In both this present application and in HC4339/15, the applicant placed emphasis on the fact that ...
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HH272-15 : VENENCIA CHIMINYA vs ESTATE LATE DENNIS CHIMINYA and PASSIVELY CHIMINYA and THE MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
Ruled By: MWAYERA J

It is trite a customary law marriage is a recognised marriage for proprietary, inheritance and maintenance rights.
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HH18-06 : MASIYIWA CLEOPHAS GONYE vs STELLA MARIS GONYE (NEE MUCHENJE)
Ruled By: UCHENA J

In 1966 the plaintiff fell in love with the defendant. In 1967 they started living together as husband and wife while the plaintiff was paying lobola. When lobola had been paid, to the satisfaction of the in-laws, they registered their customary law union in 1972. When the parties got into the customary law union in 1967 ...
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HH65-12 : CHARWADZA MADZWAWAWA vs ROSEMARY VAMBE
Ruled By: GUVAVA J and MAWADZE J

It is common cause that the parties are not legally married. The parties entered into a customary law union in 2002 and have been staying together as “husband and wife” to date….,. A customary law union is not regarded as a valid marriage in terms of our law and is only recognised for limited purposes provided ...
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HH176-15 : BARBARA MAKAHAMADZE vs DOUGLAS MUTUVIRA
Ruled By: MWAYERA J

Inroads have been made in recognising customary law unions as marriages for proprietary, maintenance, and children's issues as evidenced by not only precedent but legislative measures.The administration of Estates Act [Chapter 6:01], section 68 thereof, recognises a surviving spouse as a beneficiary regardless of the marriage registration status. The Matrimonial ...
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HHH15-20 : MARY MUBAIWA vs THE STATE
Ruled By: KWENDA J

A marriage is a contract and the parties must declare their intention and eligibility to marry before the marriage officer, under oath, in the presence of each other.The State alleges that the licence and marriage certificate were completed without the knowledge and involvement of the appellant's husband.
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HH37-16 : GEORGINA NJODZI vs LORRAINE MATIONE
Ruled By: MWAYERA J

A marriage is defined as a sui generis contract entered into by two willing parties (see NCUBE, Family Law in Zimbabwe 1987)....,. Superior courts, inclusive of the High Court, have inherent jurisdiction to protect and regulate their own process and develop common law in so far as the interests of ...
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HB01-15 : MARIA RABEKA vs LARISSA STOCKIL and ASSISTANT MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT and REGISTRAR OF DEEDS N.O.
Ruled By: MAKONESE J

The applicant has filed an application for maintenance in terms of the Wills Act [Chapter 6:06]. In particular, reliance was placed on the provisions of section 18 of the Wills Act. The relief sought by the applicant in the Draft Order is as follows:“IT IS ORDERED THAT:The estate of the ...
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SC80-21 : ALLEN GESSEN vs PRISCILLA CHIGARIRO
Ruled By: MATHONSI JA

This is an application for condonation of the late noting of an appeal and the extension of time within which to appeal against a judgement of the High Court handed down on 1 October 2020.The applicant's initial appeal, filed timeously, was struck off the roll on 1 April 2021 for ...
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HB25-15 : DORCAS MHLANGA vs BENJAMIN PHAKATSHANE
Ruled By: MUTEMA J and MOYO J

As early as generations before 2000, lobola payments in Zimbabwe were recorded in writing showing how much was charged for who, for what, by who, what was paid, the balance, and when such balance would be paid.The appellant was asked, in cross-examination, as to who married her off and her ...
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HB27-15 : MONICA DHLIWAYO vs BONGANI NDLOVU (as Executor Dative estate Late Jubane James Jack) and ESTATE LATE JUBANE JAMES JACK and CLEMENTINE JACK and DEPUTY MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
Ruled By: MAKONESE J

The plaintiff initiated proceedings by way of an Urgent Chamber Application under case number HC1580/10 seeking an order interdicting the first and second defendants, or any beneficiaries of the second defendant's estate, from disposing of the property known as Lot 1 A of Gumtree held under Deed of Transfer number ...
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CC13-21 : ZIMBABWE WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION vs THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS and OTHERS
Ruled By: GARWE JCC, MAKARAU JCC and GOWORA JCC

This is an application for an order of leave for direct access to the Constitutional Court (“the Court”) in terms of section 167(5) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Act 2013 (“The Constitution”) as read with Rule 21(2) of the Constitutional Court Rules SI 61 of 2016 (“the Rules”).In ...
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HH660-16 : IGNATIUS MASAMBA vs MERCY GORONGOZA
Ruled By: CHIGUMBA J

The matter came before me on the unopposed roll on 1 September 2016. I dismissed it on the basis that:(a) There is no cause of action, therefore, the relief sought is incompetent.(b) The papers are defective in that they do not comply with Order 32 of the Rules of this ...
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