Did you know that according to rulings made by the Magistrate’s Court and the High Court of Zimbabwe, a husband is entitled to a full refund of his lobola if his wife cheats on him?
This was confirmed in a 2016 ruling made by Justice Hlekani Mwayera and Justice Tendai Uchena.
In the case, Liberty Machado discovered that his wife had cheated on him on multiple occasions with multiple people who included his elder and younger brothers, a nephew and a herd boy. After learning of this gross betrayal and breach of the marriage contract, Machado sent his wife packing and divorced her.
This did not go down well with the cheating wife’s father who sued his former son-in-law at the Magistrate’s Court demanding the outstanding balance for the lobola.
During the trial at the Magistrate’s Court, it was revealed that the adulterous affairs came to light after the couple’s newborn baby refused to breastfeed. Both Machado and his ex-wife told the court that the baby only started breastfeeding after the mother had made a full confession of her adulterous shenanigans. She confessed that she had indeed carried out numerous adulterous affairs with Machado’s brothers, nephew and herd boy.
Upon considering all the evidence, the magistrate ruled that Machado’s wife had broken the marriage relationship by cheating on her husband. The magistrate ruled that due to this breach, her father was not entitled to any outstanding balance of the lobola payment.
The magistrate went on to rule that under customary law, a man who would have paid lobola is entitled to a full refund if the wife engages in adultery.
The court found that there was material breach of the very tenants of lobola. The court concluded that the appellant 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 father-in-law was aggrieved by this ruling and filed an appeal at the High Court where the matter was heard by Justice Mwayera and Justice Uchena. The two judges dismissed the father-in-law’s appeal noting that they could not find any fault in the magistrate’s ruling. The father-in-law was also ordered to pay the costs of the litigation.
In coming up with the disposition of the matter whereby the court a quo dismissed the claim for the balance of lobola the trial magistrate properly exercised his discretion and we find no fault in his findings.
Accordingly, the appeal lacks merit and must fail. It is ordered that the appeal be and is hereby dismissed with costs.
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