Women in unregistered customary marriages will now be able to get property accumulated during the existence of such a union following a landmark High Court ruling. The judgement was in a case brought by Harare woman Ms Melody Kurebgaseka who approached the court seeking relief after she was denied property when her unregistered 14 year old customary union to Mr Tinei Mautsa collapsed.
Judge Alfas Chitakunye held the law governing such a union unjust and awarded Ms Kurebgaseka part of the property which was accumulated during the existence of the marriage. The judge also called for the amendment of the law to protect the interests of women who stand to be left destitute if such marriages are dissolved. Chitakunye granted Kurebgaseka 25% of the property registered in her husbands name and $350 each for maintenance of the two minor children. The court also allowed her to stay at the couple’s other property in Mandara.