United Kingdom adultery row spills into Zimbabwe court

Defendant, Hellen Maworera raises jurisdiction issues against Jill Chawapiwa Chikore; more detail

By Staff Reporter

A bid by a United Kingdom based Zimbabwean woman to file US$50 000 adultery claims against a rival also based abroad has hit a brick wall when the Harare High Court ruled it had no jurisdiction to preside over claims an alleged incident that happened in outside the country.

Jill Chawapiwa Chikore had approached the High Court to sue Hellen Maworera over an alleged adulterous relationship with her husband, Jabulani Tawanda Chikore, since July 2020.

The couple was married on August 21, 1998.

In her submissions, Chikore claimed she suffered personal injury or contumelia and loss of her spouse’s consortium.

She filed a combined claim of US$50 000 for both.

But judges upheld Maworera’s argument that Zimbabwean courts could not hear a case in which both parties are British citizens who are permanently resident in the United Kingdom.

Maworera told the court that Chikore knew her address in the United Kingdom.

She further accused her rival of an attempt to sneak in an address unknown to her 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 countered Mawonera’s argument saying the parties were both Zimbabwean and that her marriage was solemnised in the country, giving the court power to hand down the judgment being prayed for.

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

Chikore also 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.

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