Home » Judicial » Chombo Divorce – Minister to Keep Farm

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo has won the legal battle to control Allan Grange Farm in Raffingora, a decision that brings finality to the politician’s divorce from ex-wife Marian Mhloyi. Minister Chombo got a decree of divorce in 2012 and all the property was shared except for the farm, which Ms Mhloyi insisted should be split to accommodate both parties.

High Court judge Justice David Mangota recently ruled in favour of the minister and in terms of the latest judgment, Ms Mhloyi should vacate the Raffingora farm.

Justice Mangota ruled that the farm was Government property and that Minister Chombo was the legitimate lessee who is entitled to using it.

It was the court’s finding that the farm was not matrimonial property to be shared, hence Minister Chombo, who applied for the farm, will remain in occupation with whoever he marries after termination of the old marriage to Ms Mhloyi.

“The court established that the farm, which is the subject of the present proceedings does not belong to the parties, but to the Government. The farm cannot in that regard be taken as the parties’ matrimonial property.

“Defendant (Ms Mhloyi) lost her status as a spouse. She became an ex-spouse of the plaintiff after the divorce.

“The interpretation of (a) section of the lease agreement does not have any room for ex-spouses. It has room for spouses.

“The plaintiff (minister) is, in the result, accorded all the rights in the farm to the unqualified exclusion of his former wife who is no longer his spouse but his ex-spouse.

“Whoever the plaintiff marries after his divorce becomes his spouse and that spouse becomes a co-lessee on the farm with him . . . ” ruled Justice Mangota.

In August last year Justice Ben Hlatshwayo (when still at the High Court) terminated the marriage of the two with the consent of both parties.

Justice Hlatshwayo ordered the distribution of matrimonial property as agreed by the parties.

Ms Mhloyi was allocated the bulk of the confirmed matrimonial property, which includes six haulage trucks and trailers, an AVM bus, an 18-tonne truck, a tanker, four cars and eight immovable properties.

Minister Chombo got flats at Eastview Gardens in Harare, an immovable property in Norton, a stand in Kariba, and all the properties at Allan Grange Farm in Raffingora.

Aocate Thabani Mpofu, instructed by Mr Wilson Manase of Manase and Manase law firm represented Minister Chombo, while Ms Beatrice Mtetwa of Mtetwa and Nyambirai together with A Girach Firoz acted for Ms Mhloyi.

Source : The Herald