LOBOLA REFUND ROW, TRIGGERED BY INFIDELITY, SPILLS INTO HIGH COURT

Zvikomborero Parafini 

A HARARE man is demanding a refund of the lobola he paid after finding out that his wife cheated on him before their wedding.

Maxmillan Tapiwa Kondowe took his father-in-law, Charles Bandera, to the Harare Civil Court, and was granted a default judgment when Bandera failed to attend the hearing.

The court subsequently ordered Bandera to repay Kondowe US$2 720, which he had paid as part of the customary marriage.

Bandera appealed the decision, arguing that he had valid reasons for not defending the case in court.

The matter was later heard in the High Court where Justice Samuel Deme rescinded the magistrate’s ruling after finding that there was no evidence of deliberate non-appearance by Bandera.

He also argued that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to hear Kondowe’s claim because the lobola ceremony was done in Karoi. 

The High Court upheld Bandera’s appeal.

“In our view, there was no evidence of deliberateness that was placed before the court a quo and hence there was no wilful default,” said Justice Chikowero, who was sitting on the appeal bench with Justice Deme.

According to court papers, Kondowe married Bandera’s daughter, Shumirai, and paid lobola sometime in March 2021.

The ceremony was held at Bandera’s place in Karoi. 

After the ceremony, Kondowe said he was not allowed by Bandera to immediately start staying with Shumirai.

He said Bandera advised him that they could only start staying together as husband and wife after the wedding.

Kondowe said he discovered through some phone messages two months later that his wife was now ‘committing some adulterous acts’.

He said he confronted his wife, who admitted having cheated, prompting him to institute action against Bandera and Shumirai at the Magistrates’ Court for the recovery of the money paid as lobola.

He said before instituting action at the court, he conducted some customary divorce procedures.

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