Small-house claims body, estate of deceased lover

A woman employed in the judiciary sector in Bulawayo allegedly tried to claim the body of her deceased married lover, while also trying to forge nullification marriage documents, all in a desperate bid to claim the man’s estate.

The incident, where the woman tried to claim the body of the late Ven Ndlovu, who died after sustaining injuries in a car accident occurred a fortnight ago.

Narrating the incident to Sunday News, wife to the deceased, Mrs Monica Ndlovu said she married Ndlovu in 1994 and they were blessed with three children.

“I married my husband who is now late in 1994, all was well until the year 2005. That is when he met this woman who tore our union to shreds. In that year my husband started acting strange, I knew he was seeing her but I just did not have evidence. He would spend the day at home but then in the evenings he would go out and return the following day. That went on for a long time until he completely left.

“I tried to file for divorce but then to my surprise she called me threatening me, saying she was a judge and that I would never win the divorce. That is when I had also filed for a lawsuit against her for adultery. As time progressed, in the year 2006 I went to my lawyers to find out how the case was progressing only to be told my file had been misplaced.

“Being gullible I let it go until a friend of mine saw how much I was suffering. She advised me to go and acquire a copy of my marriage certificate in court. It was a toll order getting those documents, as I was referred to different offices both in Bulawayo and in Harare.

Eventually I managed to get them with the assistance of a friend who works at the courts,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

She said all the while she was finalising her divorce when she learnt that her husband had been involved in an accident and had died.

“This is when the drama started. When he died, as per custom his funeral wake was to be at our matrimonial home in Nketa suburb. When I tried to collect his body from the mortuary I was told that there were arrangements that had been made by another woman, who claimed to be his wife. I knew who it was; I immediately made a report to the police who then summoned her. When she came and was questioned about what was going on she told the police that she was his rightful wife and that we were not married,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

And that is when the drama unfolded.

“When the police asked me, I produced my marriage certificate, leaving her shocked and numb.

“They asked her if she knew that I was married in court, she just kept quiet and kept saying that she had been married customarily. The police then ordered her not to interfere with my life and leave his body to be claimed by me,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

She said after the burial she tried to collect her husband’s death certificate and was not entirely shocked when she was informed that the alleged mistress had applied for a death certificate.

“It wasn’t as surprising to learn that she had rushed to the registrar’s office. So I explained the issue and the woman there told me to bring a police report and collect the certificate at 2pm, where I then went earlier and collected at 12pm. It was only after a few days that she called me saying that she had given me enough time and that I should move out of her house. A house my husband and I bought,” said Mrs Ndlovu.

She said she had since made a report to the police and would soon file a lawsuit against her late husband’s lover.

The alleged mistress could not be reached for comment as she was said to be away from work on “compassionate leave”.