KUDAKWASHE David Mnangagwa, believed to be a close relative to the President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won a child custody battle after the High Court ruled that his baby mama, Al-Marie Iris Hall, was toxic to the minor, born in 2019.

High Court judges, Justices Ephraim Tagu and Emilia Muchawa ruled that the fathers of children born out of wedlock should also enjoy equal access to their children, not only play a role in the upkeep as used to be the tradition.

The ruling follows an appeal by Hall who challenged the decision of a magistrate who awarded custodianship to Mnangagwa.

“The court proceeded to also consider case law authorities which emphasize that the best interests of the child are paramount consideration even for a child born out of wedlock. The case of Sadiqi (Frank Buyanga) versus Chantelle Muteswa HH249/20 sets out the legal position in respect to the custody of minors born out of wedlock and was relied upon by the court a quo,” said the judges of appeal.

“Furthermore, the court a quo relied on the provisions of the Guardianship of Minors Act and the Universal Declaration on the rights of the child. These cannot be said to have been irrelevant considerations. One cannot therefore successfully impugn the court a quo’s conclusion that the best interests of the child in casu could best be served by placing her in the custody of a stable and responsible person being Mnangagwa. In the result, the appeal is dismissed with costs,” ruled the judges.

The court confirmed that Mnangagwa has always been a good father to the child while the mother was said to be a violent person and a drug addict who once stayed in a rehabilitation home for three weeks.

Hall’s babysitter, Ndoro also said she would stay with the baby while the mother was always away clubbing.

The magistrate had confirmed this through chats between Hill’s mother and Ndoro.

At one point Hall’s mother raised a point that her daughter was so desperate that she could sell her baby for drugs.

The court heard Mnangagwa would come and visit his child all the time and sometimes take the baby to visit Hall when she was in rehab.

A neighbour also confirmed that Hall was a violent person and suicidal.

The court heard she once scooped out some tablets from her mouth after she threatened to kill herself.

The neighbour also said Hall was in the habit of smashing bottles trying to attack Mnangagwa which was also supported by the babysitter.

Mnangagwa through his lawyer Tinomudaishe Chinyoka also said his baby mama would threaten to kill herself each time he wanted to move out of their flat.

Hall did not dispute this in any of her affidavits, the court heard.

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