In a surprising turn of events, a Zimbabwean man, Maxmillan Tapiwa Kondowe, has taken legal action against his father-in-law, Charles Bandera, demanding the return of a substantial US$2,700 bride price.
The twist in the tale? Kondowe’s decision comes after discovering that his bride-to-be had been involved in an affair and cheated on him before their wedding ceremony.
The legal saga unfolded after Kondowe paid the bride price for Shumirai Bandera in March 2021, only to face a stipulation from the bride’s father: he was prohibited from living with his betrothed until after their formal wedding ceremony.
However, just two months later, Kondowe stumbled upon incriminating WhatsApp messages on his wife’s phone, revealing her involvement with another man.
Confronted with the evidence, Shumirai allegedly confessed to the infidelity, leading Kondowe to terminate the marriage and demand a full lobola refund.
Bandera, served with the summons, failed to present a defense, resulting in a default judgment against him. Seeking to overturn the judgment, Bandera cited the magistrate’s alleged lack of jurisdiction and the reasonableness of his defense.
The legal complexities deepened as Bandera sought an interim order to halt the execution of the default judgment, a request dismissed by the civil court.
Undeterred, Bandera appealed to the High Court and successfully obtained a temporary suspension of the judgment’s execution until a formal hearing is convened.
This Zimbabwean drama highlights the intersection of cultural traditions, legal intricacies, and personal betrayal, raising questions about the enforcement of bride prices in the face of infidelity and broken promises.