ZIMBABWE – PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday lost a bid to have the US$15 000 maintenance claim by Ms Locardia Karimatsenga struck off the roll.
Harare Civil Court magistrate Mr Reuben Mukavhi ruled that the application was properly before the courts and that the hearing should be held.
PM Tsvangirai had argued that the application did not comply with the provisions of the Maintenance Act.
The premier’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu said the claim could have been brought up through summons and not a court application.
He also argued that service of the court papers was not done properly. Adv Mpofu raised the objection just before the maintenance inquiry, but Mr Mukavhi ruled against him.
Mr Mukavhi held that the application was properly before him and that the hearing should start. “The proceedings before me have been properly instituted,” he said. “The points in limine (preliminary points) are without merit and are hereby dismissed.”
Adv Mpofu notified the court of his intention to appeal to the High Court challenging the lower court’s failure or omission to consider some of his submissions in dismissing the preliminary points. “We intend to approach the High Court so that it deals with the issues we raised concerning the attachment of an affidavit to the summons,” he said.
“The point has not been determined by this court.” Mr Mukavhi ruled that the hearing should take off on October 15. In the failed preliminary arguments, Adv Mpofu submitted that the maintenance claim was void and that it was an unnecessary burden on the court roll.
Adv Mpofu said a maintenance complaint should be made on oath and the fact that Ms Karimatsenga’s lawyers filed a court application rendered the process defective. He said the law did not allow the court to condone any departure from the statutes. Adv Mpofu described the application as “dog’s breakfast”.
He said proper service of summons should be effected by the police and not by any other person. Responding to the objection, Ms Karimatsenga’s lawyer Mr Everson Samukange described the preliminary challenge as mischievous and a deliberate attempt to delay the court proceedings.
Mr Samukange said the complaint had properly been made on oath as required by the law and that service could be done by other persons other than the police. He said the application, although it was not brought on summons, had an affidavit which constitutes the maintenance complaint on oath.
Ms Karimatsenga is claiming US$15 000 monthly maintenance to match the high standards of life she is now accustomed to as a result of her relationship with PM Tsvangirai.
She wants the PM to contribute towards her upkeep and accessories, as she has been accustomed to.
In her claim, Ms Karimatsenga said she was customarily married to PM Tsvangirai after he paid lobola to her parents in November last year.