HARARE – Prominent preacher Frederick Shumba, founder of World Harvest Ministries in Norton, has been divorced by his wife of 32 years, who accuses him of having many adulterous affairs.
The couple’s divorce was granted by High Court judge Fatima Maxwell after establishing that their marriage has irretrievably broken down.
Among other reasons, Shumba’s wife, Consilia said the cleric would publicly accuse her of prostitution while he himself had many concubines, embarrassing her in front of the world.
She also said Shumba, on three occasions, accused her of trying to kill him.
According to her divorce summons, the parties were married in terms of the then Marriages Act [Chapter 5:11] on the 7 of September 1991.
The couple’s union was blessed with three children.
On 27 August 2019, Consilia issued summons claiming a decree of divorce and ancillary relief.
In her declaration, she stated that the parties’ marriage has irretrievably broken down to such an extent that there were no reasonable prospects of reconciliation.
“She further stated that the defendant committed adultery with several women and treated her with such cruelty as is inconsistent with a normal marital relationship.
“She also stated that the defendant publicly accused her of prostitution and attempting to kill him on three occasions.
“She averred that defendant deserted her for over three years and told her in front of his brothers and her sisters that he no longer loves her and had ‘divorced’ her three years earlier,” read court papers.
Consilia stated that during the marriage, the parties acquired both movable and immovable assets.
She suggested a distribution plan and prayed that each party bears its own costs.
Testifying in court, Consilia accused her husband of trying to elbow her out of their marriage empty handed.
To this end, she said, Shumba had formed a Trust which was registered in his name.
Consilia stated that the properties in the Trust must be subject to distribution as she was not consulted and did not consent to their transfer to the Trust.
She submitted the couple’s house in Norton should be awarded to her and together with other stands in Norton and Gweru.
Shumba’s wife proposed that the cleric be awarded a house in Poorle Road, Twinlakes, Norton and a commercial stand for lodges in Kariba.
She stated that in terms of value, she was getting less than what she proposed should be given to Shumba.
She produced valuation reports prepared by Josephine Chidora of Global World Properties.
The properties were valued as follows; 764 Hertfordshire in Gweru (US$96,000), Govans in Norton (US$18,000), Poorle Road in Norton (US$75,000), Stand 473 in Norton (US$170,000) and stand 1036 in Kariba (US$140,000).
Consilia also testified that the parties were both employed but she earned more than the defendant.
She acquired a family car while her estranged husband got a loan to buy an incomplete house in Kuwadzana.
The court heard the loan was not enough and the car was used to cover the deficit.
However, the parties did not complete the house. They sold it and went to Norton where Shumba had been given a house by his employer.
According to Consilia, they started a car selling business before Shumba left employment and became a full-time pastor, though continuing in the business.
After he left his job, Shumba asked Consilia to leave employment so that she accompanies him in his many visits to congregants’ homes.
She eventually left her employment in 1998.
Justifying her claim, Consilia said they acquired their wealth together and in his absence, she would be the pastor at church and the housewife at home.
She said Shumba would travel to America and bring lots of money and at times she would accompany him on international trips where at times she would sing before he preached.
Consilia said she would also look after their extended family and Shumba’s father.
It was her testimony that three of her children are in America and that in 2017, she visited and found them out of school and with no food in the house.
He said Shumba has not been paying rates and charges for their matrimonial home yet he would bring congregants home for prayer and she would take care of them.
Shumba’s position was that the assets do not belong to the parties and were not available for distribution.
He narrated how a Trust had been formed stating that it was not logic for his wife to say the property registered under a third parties name “was theirs”.
He pointed out that the six-hectare agricultural plot in Norton is state land was not subject to distribution.
Under cross-examination, Consilia conceded that she had not given evidence that the Trust was a fraud and was only registered and valid as at the time of her testimony.
The court then ruled that what is subject to distribution is what belongs to the parties.
The judge ruled, “A decree of divorce be and is hereby granted.
“Plaintiff be and is hereby awarded Stand No. 3 Poorle Road, Twinlakes, Norton as her sole and exclusive property.
“The defendant be and is hereby awarded the commercial stand for lodges in Kariba as his sole and exclusive property.”
From 1989 to 1996, Shumba served as a senior member in the United Assemblies in Africa (UAA) church after rising through ranks.
He was fully employed by the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZETDC).
He then founded his church, World Harvest Ministries which has since spread to major towns in Zimbabwe.