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Zim’s own Imelda Marcos

Conrad Dube

HARARE town clerk Nomutsa Chideya has accused his estranged wife, Grace, of infidelity, extravagance, deceit and irresponsible behaviour and wants a court to terminate their six-year old marriage

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Grace denied the allegations of infidelity but admitted the marriage was irretrievable.


In her answering affidavit, Grace Chideya is demanding $50 million in maintenance a month and denies charges of extravagance.


Chideya claimed in papers filed in the High Court on August 1 that his wife persistently committed adultery and admitted to him and other persons that she had committed adultery.


He alleges that she boasted to him and other persons “of substantial financial rewards lavished on her as gifts, presents and other inducements for the continuation of the illicit relationship between her and another person”, the papers show.


Chideya said Grace was “persistently deceitful towards him to the extent of misrepresenting to him that her romantic escapades to various places in Zimbabwe in the company of her lover were work-related assignments”.


Chideya alleges that Grace was “so extravagant and irresponsible as to accumulate in excess of 170 outfits, 129 blouses, 51 skirts, 67 pairs of shoes, 37 handbags and other personal items acquired in equally excessive quantities.


“Defendant was so extravagant and irresponsible as to purchase for herself during the month of June 2005, personal effects worth in excess of $33 million,” Chideya claims.


Grace admitted that she had a reasonably impressive wardrobe which however could not be described as excessive taking into account their “standard of living and status in society”.


“An average lady’s outfit costs $15 million,” Grace claimed, adding: “Thus buying clothes for $33 million cannot properly be described as extravagant and irresponsible.”


She is claiming $50 million maintenance “to enable her to maintain a standard of living near as possible to that she enjoyed during the subsistence of the marriage and to assist her in meeting the cost of treatment of the disease brought about by the plaintiff’s cruelty”, Grace said through her lawyers, Kwenda & Associates.


She admitted that the marriage had irretrievably broken down to the extent that there was no prospect of restoration of a normal relationship.


She said Chideya had made persistent unwarranted and untruthful accusations of infidelity against her.


“The plaintiff has subjected the defendant to so much cruelty, inhuman and degrading treatment that the defendant is now suffering from bipolar affective disorder, which is a diagnostic criterion for depression,” Grace said, adding that she was currently receiving treatment for that.


She also wants to be declared the sole holder of Lilford Farm in Mount Darwin which they acquired during the marriage and half the share of their Van Praagh home in Harare.


Both parties want the marriage terminated and the court should rule on the apportionment of property.


Chideya, represented by Scanlen & Holderness, alleged that their marriage had broken down to such an extent that there was no prospect of restoration of normal relations between them.


“Defendant was so deceitful to the plaintiff that she subjected the plaintiff to enduring the services of a bus hired by her lover at his child’s memorial service. She was so deceitful to the plaintiff that she subjected the plaintiff to the use of domestic equipment supplied by her lover,” Chideya alleged.

Grace said her employer provided the bus which Chideya claims was provided by her lover.


Chideya alleged Grace had also acquired a double-storey Borrowdale Brooke property.


Grace said Chideya had not only barred her from their matrimonial home at 61 Van Praagh Avenue, Milton Park, but had also made the unilateral decision to remove her personal belongings to Biddulphs Storage, incurring unnecessary costs.


She alleged that Chideya had engaged in an improper association with another woman.


“The plaintiff has been so cruel to the defendant that he has repeated (and interrogated the defendant about) false accusations of infidelity mentioned in the plaintiff’s declaration even at a time when she was not of sound and sober senses due to the depression mentioned in her affidavit,” Grace’s lawyers said.

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