Media barred from $40m adultery suit
A high Court judge has barred journalists from reporting a lawsuit in which Jocelyn, the estranged wife of Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) commander, General Constantine Chiwenga, is suing the army boss's lover for $40-million.
Chiwenga's new partner, Mary Mubaiwa, recently obtained a judgment in the high court gagging journalists from reporting about the adultery lawsuit brought against her by Jocelyn.
This follows a gagging order obtained by Chiwenga last year barring journalists from reporting on the divorce proceedings in the high court.
Jocelyn is suing Mubaiwa for $40-million for adultery damages and loss of consortium after accusing her husband's new partner of snatching the army boss from her and wounding her feelings.
Chiwenga moved in with the former supermodel and the ex-wife of former national soccer team striker, Shingi Kawondera, late last year after his turbulent marriage to Jocelyn fell apart.
Last year, Jocelyn accused Chiwenga of committing bigamy after the army chief reportedly married Mubaiwa.
High court judge Chinembiri Bhunu recently granted an order sought by Mubaiwa.
Bhunu ruled that only witnesses and Mubaiwa and Jocelyn's lawyers would be allowed in court to follow proceedings.
"All persons including members of the press and any media shall be excluded from proceedings except for the parties' witnesses and their legal representatives. Any oral, written, transcribed or electronically stored record of proceedings including this chamber application, pleadings, pre-trial conference, trial proceedings and any ancillary or interlocutory proceedings shall not be accessible or made available to any persons save the parties and their legal practitioners," reads the ruling granted this month.
Bhunu ordered that the record of proceedings in Chiwenga's partners' case should not be disseminated or reported on in "any media, whether public or private, manual or electronic or by electronic mail or by internet."
The judge also said none of the proceedings should be "disseminated to any media in Zimbabwe".
In seeking the gagging order, Mubaiwa said Chiwenga was a public figure and that the divorce and adultery case had generated "unwelcome media publication".
Chiwenga's new partner, who pleaded that she was a private individual who lived a private life and had no desire to be dragged into the public domain, said the army boss had already obtained protection against publicity of legal proceedings which had to do with his divorce action.
She claimed that the proceedings were directly linked to the divorce and therefore any publicity for the adultery proceedings would expose the general to the adverse publicity against which he had already obtained protection from the high court.
Mubaiwa, who produced copies of some newspaper articles concerning the adultery case, accused Jocelyn of having a tendency of "seeking publicity of the whole matter by approaching the media".
She also alleged that the hostile publicity has had an adverse effect on her children at school.
However, Jocelyn denied being the source of the adverse publicity and blamed Mubaiwa for inviting the so-called adverse publicity by "being seen and associating in public with the general in a romantic manner".
Chiwenga's estranged wife also challenged claims by Mubaiwa that she was a private individual and contended that by appearing in a beauty pageant she was a public figure.