UK-based woman in US$50 000 adultery storm

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A HARARE woman based in the United Kingdom has suffered a huge blow after the High Court in Zimbabwe ruled that it had no jurisdiction to hear her US$50 000 lawsuit.

Jill Chawapiwa Chikore had dragged Hellen Maworera to the High Court seeking US$50 00 in damages for engaging in an adulterous relationship with her husband, Jabulani Tawanda Chikore, since July 2020.

The couple was married on August 21, 1998.

Chikore submitted that she had suffered personal injury or contumelia and loss of her spouse’s consortium.

She was claiming US$50 000 for both claims.

But Maworera raised a special plea, arguing that the court has no jurisdiction over this matter as both parties are British citizens who are permanently resident in the United Kingdom.

She submitted that no security had been offered in the court for Chikore to institute the present proceedings as required by law.

She prayed to the court to dismiss the application, arguing that the matter was brought before the wrong forum.

According to the law, where it is established that a defendant is a foreigner, the procedure is that the summons should be withdrawn and an application made for attachment.

Maworera told the court that Chikore knew her address in the United Kingdom, alleging there was an attempt to sneak in an address unknown to the defendant to mislead the court while soliciting jurisdiction.

She asked the court to order that Chikore be punished with costs for abuse of the court process.

Chikore accused Maworera of trying to mislead the court, arguing that they were both foreigners who could not consent to the jurisdiction of the court.

She argued that she is a Zimbabwean and that their marriage was solemnised in the country, giving the court power to hand down an effective judgment.

Chikore further argued that the adultery was also committed at her matrimonial home in Zimbabwe.

She said Maworera was still a Zimbabwean citizen.

High Court judge Justice Emilia Muchawa said in order for a court to make an effective and binding decision on a case, it should have both subject matter jurisdiction and the personal matter jurisdiction.

“In casu, though this court has jurisdiction over the subject matter, it is unclear if it has the power over the parties to the matter,” Muchawa said.

“It is clear from the summons and declaration that the plaintiff has not made adequate averments to establish jurisdiction.

“There is an attempt to latch on to the defendant’s special plea issue raised that the plaintiff has not tendered any security for costs, to then say only an incola of this country would be entitled to security for costs.”

Justice Muchawa said Maworera had satisfied the court that she was a foreigner. – News Day