Former Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora has challenged the demands made by his ex-wife for half of the wealth they accumulated during the three years they were married under customary law.
Although Dokora has not yet fully responded to the claims, he has filed his notice of appearance to defend at the High Court this week through his lawyers, Warara and Associates. Dokora’s former wife, Ms Mercy Hanyani, last month approached the High Court seeking an order that permits the distribution of assets acquired by the parties during subsistence of their customary union.
The two had one child together and Dokora paid lobola and performed other cultural rites in 2016, although they later divorced in September 2019. According to an application filed by her lawyers, Gutsa and Chimhoga Attorneys, when the two separated, Dokora allegedly retained all of the couple’s assets and only left her with the child and their clothes.
She argued that during their union, they acquired various assets, including an immovable property at 172 Carrick Creagh Township in Borrowdale that was registered solely in Dokora’s name.
Ms Hanyani claims that she made direct and indirect contributions to the acquisition of the assets, contributing all her personal earnings and supporting Dokora in his political career.
She said Dokora already had a farm in Bindura when they started living together where they grew maize and engaged in livestock production, keeping cattle, goats and chickens for sale, as well as a commercial stand in Rushinga where they ran a general dealer and a bottle store.
She wants to be given either the Mercedes Benz or the Ford Everest, a Kawasaki motorbike and some household property.
Her lawyers said Dokora could buy Hanyani’s share in the Borrowdale property within four months of an order being made by the court, or the property could be sold and the net proceeds split evenly. Ms Hanyani is demanding 45 percent of the value of the general dealer and bottle store in Rushinga.
The couple owned a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Navara, Toyota Prado, Land Rover Discovery and Massey Ferguson tractor, among other movable property and household goods.
The case is yet to be heard.