An unemployed Bulawayo man’s bid to receive spousal support from his former girlfriend and Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) boss Ruth Ncube, hit a brick wall recently after the application was dismissed for lack of merit.
Wilson Sezi had filed a $3 800 monthly maintenance claim against Ncube saying they were customarily married and that he was entitled to receive support from her since he was unemployed.
In a ruling delivered on June 22, Bulawayo magistrate Sheunesu Matova said Sezi had failed to prove that he was customarily married to the ZITF boss.
“The applicant instituted for a spousal maintenance from the respondent. He was claiming $3 800.
“The respondent contested the applicant’s claim. She raised preliminary point in her opposing affidavit, the point in limine of which has an effect of disposing of this matter if upheld by this court.
“The respondent technically objected to the applicant’s claim on the grounds that no customary union existed between her and the applicant as the applicant had not paid bride price to her family,” Matova ruled.
“The court in this judgment grapples with the issue of whether or not an unregistered customary union exists between the parties to this case entitling the applicant to claim spousal maintenance.”
Matova said in the affidavit, Ncube disputed claims that she was lawfully married to Sezi in terms of the Customary Marriages Act.
The magistrate said for a customary marriage to subsist, Sezi ought to have followed the customs of his in-laws-to-be.
“Therefore there is no way this court can find that a customary union existed between the parties when the respondent’s family insists that applicant had not complied with essential Ndebele customs for him to be recognised as husband to the respondent,” he ruled.
“For the reasons stated above, the court upholds the preliminary point taken by the applicant that no customary union exists between the parties.
“In the result, it is hereby ordered that the applicant’s claim for spousal maintenance be and is hereby dismissed with no orders as to costs.”
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