HARARE – Harare businessman Philip Chiyangwa has not been served with summons of the divorce to his wife Elizabeth, his lawyers indicated yesterday.
The media yesterday published Chiyangwa’s divorce issue which his lawyers say was done before their client had been served with summons.
“We have been instructed to place it on record that, as at the time of publication of the article and the delivery of this letter to your offices, our client had not been served with the said summons,” Addington Chinake of Kantor & Immerman said in a letter written yesterday to the Registrar of the High Court.
Chinake said the flamboyant businessman was concerned that his personal affairs have been splashed in a national newspaper “at the time the proceedings are essentially confidential between the parties and the judicial system.”
“We will be taking further instructions in that regard and our client’s rights are fully reserved. We request authority to obtain a copy of the said summons to enable us to take full instructions from our client, since this matter is already in the public domain,” the seasoned defence counsel said.
In addition to Chinake’s views, Chiyangwa gave the clearest indication that he was not going to consent or allow the divorce.
“Forget the divorce,” he told the Daily News by telephone yesterday.
“It is not going to happen. Put away your champagne bottles because the so-called divorce is a nullity. I still love my wife and will always love my wife. There are no celebrations at all for those that are plotting to celebrate,” the swaggering businessman said.
Observers said it was quite curious and interesting why the Native Investments Africa Group founder had hired a commercial lawyer to handle the divorce case, although the former has reportedly handled Indigenisation minister Francis Nhema’s separation from his wife Louise Nkomo.
According to court documents, Elizabeth not only wants 85 percent of Chiyangwa’s properties, but stands to gain $204 million of the $240 million worth of properties she listed in her papers.
“The defendant shall pay the 85 percent value in cash to the plaintiff within a period of 90 days of the decree of divorce, failure of which the deputy sheriff shall, by public auction sell those of the assets mentioned in the inventory as shall realise cash proceeds equivalent to 85 percent of the value declared by the evaluator and pay such portion of the proceeds thereof as is equal to 85 percent of the declared value of the estate to the plaintiff,” Elizabeth said.
She further demanded $83 000 per month for maintenance from the date of the granting of the decree of divorce for 120 months.
The court documents revealed the politician has over 100 immovable assets worth over $270 million.
The properties’ values range between $200 000 and $75 million.
Court documents also show that the businessman has interests in 40 companies, including Pinnacle Property Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, Total Communications (Pvt) Ltd, Jetmaster (Pvt) Ltd and Glory Car Hire (Pvt) Ltd.
Elizabeth revealed that the businessman has a fleet of state-of-the-art cars including a Rolls Royce Phantom worth $450 000, a $350 000 Bentley, a Mercedes GL6 worth $300 000, a $120 000 Jeep, several Mercedes Benz and other expensive vehicles.
His household goods are valued at $200 000 according to the summons.
According to court papers, Chiyangwa and Elizabeth got married in 1986, before solemnising their union on November 11, 1988. Elizabeth, who has two children with Chiyangwa, claims in the court papers that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and that there were no prospects of restoration.
She said Chiyangwa was sexually involved with several other women and that had necessitated the marriage break down.
“The defendant continuously neglects, emotionally and physically, abuses the plaintiff in a manner inconsistent with a normal marital relationship.
“The abuse is to the extent that the plaintiff lives in constant fear of the defendant and her continued living with him is out of submission as opposed to consent, a situation incompatible with a normal marital relationship,” Elizabeth said.
She further said the properties she listed were acquired by the couple over the years but registered in Chiyangwa’s name or names of some companies linked to him.
She demanded the court to appoint an independent professional auditor to determine the exact extent and particulars of the estate acquired by the parties during the subsistence of the marriage and compile an inventory of the properties.
Elizabeth told the court that the parties involved in the divorce should equally pay the appointed evaluator and forensic auditor.