There was drama at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday when a wedding between a 51-year-old married man and his 46-year-old girlfriend was stopped by a woman who claimed to be the groom’s wife.
Magdalene Chamunorwa showed up at the courts in the company of her relatives before thoroughly beating up the said girlfriend.
Chamunorwa informed the marriage officer, Mr Tendai Mahwe, that the groom, Gift Singano, was her husband and that they had four children.
She stormed into the wedding room moments before Singano exchanged vows with Francisca Kanyama. The free drama was taken outside the court building where Chamunorwa exchanged blows with Kanyama, who was still clad in her wedding gown.
The fight happened in full view of Singano who watched helplessly as his wife and “mistress” got down to “business”. Onlookers, who were attending to their court businesses, cheered the fight and accused Kanyama of being a husband snatcher.
Mr Mahwe cancelled the wedding after Chamunorwa proved that she was still married to Singano. “He is my husband and we got married in 1992 in Chiendambuya,” she said.
“We have four children and our marriage is still subsisting. He has not divorced me. I only discovered that he wanted to marry his girlfriend when I saw a profile picture of her on his phone. We stay together in our matrimonial house in Crowborough here in Harare but he leaves me in the house and goes to co-habit with his girlfriend in Mufakose.”
Singano confirmed that he has four children with Chamunorwa, but submitted that he divorced her five years ago. “We divorced in 2011 because she was too violent and I decided to end the marriage and left the house,” he said.
In his ruling, Mr Mahwe said: “The facts show that the marriage still subsists because the formal customary procedure to divorce a woman, which is known as ‘gupuro’ or a token of divorce was not done. In the circumstances Gift cannot lawfully contract another marriage