Landmark Ruling Denies Man Bride Price Repayment After His Wife Cheated
The High Court has reversed a decision compelling a Karoi man to repay a US$2,700 bride price to his son-in-law following allegations of adultery involving his daughter.
Charles Bandera took legal action against his son-in-law, Maxmillan Kondowe, appealing a default judgment that mandated the repayment of the bride price after Shumirai Bandera, Charles’ daughter, was found guilty of adultery.
Maxmillan and Shumirai were united in matrimony in March 2021 in a ceremony held in Karoi. However, their marital bliss was short-lived, as just two months into the marriage, Maxmillan discovered that Shumirai was involved in a sexual relationship with another man. Following a confrontation, Shumirai admitted to the adultery in Harare, leading to the dissolution of their marriage in January 2022.
Subsequently, Maxmillan initiated customary marriage divorce proceedings, serving summons on Kondowe, his father-in-law, with the demand for the return of the bride price.
In August 2022, the court issued a default judgment against Kondowe after he failed to enter his appearance to defend the action. The judgment stipulated that Kondowe must reimburse Maxmillan’s bride price.
Upon learning that the Messenger of Court was set to execute the judgment, Kondowe swiftly filed an application for rescission. Simultaneously, Maxmillan submitted an application to stay the execution.
The High Court, after reviewing the circumstances surrounding the case, has now set aside the earlier decision that ordered Kondowe to repay the bride price.
This legal development marks a significant turn in the ongoing dispute, providing relief for Kondowe in the aftermath of his daughter’s tumultuous marriage.