Ex-minister’s wife demands property 

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FORMER Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus Dokora’s wife of three years, Mercy Hanyani, has dragged the politician to the High Court seeking a share of the property they acquired during their marriage.
Through her lawyers Gutsa and Chimhoga Attorneys, Hanyani told the court that she had been customarily married to the former minister since May 2016.
Hanyani, a secondary school teacher who was based in Mutare when she met Dokora, later relocated to Harare where the two began to stay as “husband and wife” and have a three-year-old child together.
The customary union came to an end in September last year when Dokora gave her a divorce token.
She said during the subsistence of the union, the two lived a modern and affluent lifestyle in Borrowdale, Harare, where she had a motor vehicle for her own exclusive use.
In her papers, Hanyani demanded to be allocated a Ford Everest car or a Mercedes Benz E300 and a Kawasaki motorbike as well as household goods, including a bed, tables, stoves and sofas.

She proposed that Dokora be given a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Navara, Toyota Prado, Land Rover Discovery, Massey Ferguson tractor and a Kawasaki motorbike and other household goods, including a fridge and blankets.
“In addition, when the defendant (Dokora) contracted the customary union with the plaintiff (Hanyani), he already had a farm allocated to him under the land reform programme, situated in Bindura. There, the parties grew contract maize, raised cattle, goats and chickens for sale. They also had a commercial stand in Rushinga, run as a general dealer and bottle store.
“Despite customary law being generally applicable to the parties herein by virtue of the nature of their union, regard being heard to the mode of life of the parties … which point a relative closeness of the parties to general law rather than customary law, general law ought to apply herein,” she said.
Hanyani said she made direct and indirect contributions to the acquisition of the properties.
“Her contributions towards meeting the domestic needs of the union, made it possible for the defendant to use his own income in making major property acquisitions for the union. She gave comfort and society to the defendant as his ‘wife’ that enabled him to devote his energies to his work, his political career and managing the union’s farming and other business interests, for the benefit of the family,” she said.
She said she was supportive of Dokora’s political career and would accompany him on State and political functions, where he got most of his financial and proprietary benefits the family enjoyed.
Hanyani said Dokora forced her out without anything except the minor child’s clothes and personal effects.
“It is just and equitable, considering the lifestyle that plaintiff was accustomed to living as the ‘wife’ of a government minister, farmer and businessperson, her contributions direct and indirect to the acquisitions of the assets and the very young age of the minor child born of the union which plaintiff has to raise in the high standard of life he had been accustomed to,” she said.
She further said they had intended to build a family home at number 172 Carrick Creagh in Borrowdale, Harare, adding that she and her child stand to lose this benefit after Dokora decided to end the marriage.
Dokora has not yet responded to the application in the case pending before the High Court.

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