Crime & courts

Harare man ordered to pay US$100K in adultery damages

HIGH Court Judge Justice Amy Tsanga has ordered a Harare man to pay US$100 000 in adultery damages to the husband of a woman he was dating.

Talent Musvibe filed a lawsuit against Dambudzo Oliver Munyebvu saying he wanted to use the money to divorce his wife for cheating.

The case has had twists and turns after it emerged that Munyebvu’s first encounter with Musvibe’s wife was through rape before they entered into an adulterous affair.

However, the rape case was never reported.

It was confirmed by the lower court, but not entertained in the adultery case because it was not before the courts.

Musvibe initially claimed $150 000 at the Magistrates court, and an order was granted in his favour.

Munyebvu appealed against the ruling at the High Court claiming that the couple fabricated a case against him in a bid to extort money.

But Tsanga vindicated the woman as a credible witness citing the sensitive nature of rape.

According to the court, her statement that the first sexual encounter with the appellant was rape did not affect her credibility.

“The magistrate found the issue to be beside the point as the real issue before the court was whether or not adultery had subsequently occurred,” Tsanga’s judgement reads.

“The claim for adultery damages falls under two main heads, namely loss of consortium (right each spouse has to the companionship) which could include loss of love, companionship, sexual privileges and assistance in good and bad times which a spouse is entitled to expect and consequent mental distress.

“The second head for claiming is contumelia (injury, hurt, insult and indignity that occurs to an innocent spouse) encompassing the infringement of privacy, dignity and reputation.”

-Newsday

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