The divorce proceedings between Bona Nyepudzai Ouma Mugabe, the daughter of former President Robert Mugabe, and Simbarashe Mutsahuni Chikore are expected to involve complex disputes over their individual and joint assets. According to zim news net, Chikore has listed a considerable number of properties, including 21 farms, over 25 upscale residential properties, substantial cash, various companies, and valuable movable assets worth millions of US dollars.
Bona Mugabe initiated the divorce petition, stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. In response, Chikore believes that the marriage can be restored with genuine counseling and family support. However, he suggests that interference from third parties and personal agendas have hindered their reconciliation efforts.
Since Zimbabwe adopted no-fault civil divorce in the early 1980s, if one person in a couple sees no hope of reconciliation, the divorce is typically granted. The courts prioritize the best interests of the children when determining custody, visitation rights, and other related matters. As the children grow older, their own wishes become increasingly considered. The rules for custody and child support focus on ensuring the children’s well-being, without punishing either partner.
The division of income for child support and, in many cases, for the adults, follows established precedents. This stage may involve complexities such as the use or division of income-generating assets.
While Bona Mugabe prefers to postpone the asset division issues and prioritize the resolution of divorce, child support, and custody matters, Chikore, represented by Mr. Rogers Matsikidze, has presented an extensive list of properties in his counterclaim. He wishes to separate their property issues, asserting that they should not be treated as a joint venture. Chikore accuses Bona of unreasonably refusing to settle and suggests that false claims have been made against him regarding his intentions towards her property. He clarifies that he is only claiming what the couple acquired during their marriage, which he contributed to through his savings as a pilot and from a farming venture. Chikore also highlights his contributions from earnings, jobs, and special assignments facilitated by his father-in-law.
Bona Mugabe filed for divorce in March, citing a total breakdown with no prospect of restoring the union. She is seeking a decree of divorce and full custody of their three children, aged seven, five, and two. Chikore, on the other hand, wants shared custody with access to the children every alternate weekend. The court will determine the best arrangement for the children.
Bona Mugabe also requests monthly child maintenance of US$2,700 per child until they reach adulthood or become self-sufficient, whichever occurs first. She acknowledges that during the marriage, they jointly and individually acquired movable and immovable property but believes that addressing these issues would delay the divorce decree.
In his counterclaim, Chikore insists on an equal sharing of all properties acquired or donated to them during their marriage. He presents a detailed list of residential properties, farms, vehicles, and other assets that he claims to own or have acquired through various means.
The divorce between Bona Mugabe and Chikore has garnered public attention due to their high-profile wedding in 2014, which was attended by African heads of state, government officials, and dignitaries. The court documents indicate that the couple has lost all love and affection for each other and has been living apart for over nine months. Bona Mugabe cites Chikore’s activities outside of the marriage as one reason for the breakdown.
The final decision on property division and other matters will rest with the courts, who will consider the best interests of the parties involved, particularly the children. The extensive list of properties, farms, vehicles, and farming equipment provided by Chikore underscores the complexity of the divorce