A Bulawayo medical doctor finds herself in the middle of an adultery storm after it emerged that her husband committed bigamy by marrying her while he was still hooked up with another woman.
The woman, Loveness Sherekete, allegedly got married to Derrick Ndebele (66) from Hillcrest suburb who is reportedly still married to his first wife Catherine Rice Mashakada (57) from Burnside suburb.
The matter came to light following the arrest of Ndebele and his subsequent appearance in court charged with bigamy as defined in Section 104 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.
Ndebele was not asked to plead and was remanded out of custody to today (2 September).
Allegations against Ndebele are that he married Loveness while his marriage with Catherine was still legally subsisting.
Court records show that Ndebele and Catherine got married on 9 March 1986, under a monogamous marriage in terms of the Marriages Act Chapter 37 at Gwanda Magistrates Court.
The marriage still subsists and the couple had three children who are all above the age of 18 now.
It is reported that sometime in 2003, as per agreement between the two parties, Catherine left the country for work in the United Kingdom, leaving her husband behind with their children at their house in Waterford suburb.
In 2004, Ndebele reportedly followed his wife to the UK with their three children and he stayed for almost a month before he came back with one of the children.
When he came back, Ndebele reportedly sold their matrimonial house in Waterford and bought another one in Hillcrest and Catherine was privy to that.
It is further reported that sometime in 2006 Ndebele fell in love with Loveness and the two started staying together in Hillcrest suburb as “husband and wife”.
It is yet to be proven that the two parties – Ndebele and Loveness – went through both Shona and Ndebele customary marriage practices and two ceremonies were held in Harare and Tsholotsho respectively.
The first ceremony was held at Loveness’ parents’ house in Budiriro, in Harare and the second ceremony was held at Ndebele’s father’s homestead in Mvundlana Village under Chief Ngqoya in Tsholotsho as per Ndebele culture.
Investigations at the Civil Registry Department revealed that Catherine’s husband and Loveness had a child together who was born on 31 March 2010.
The State alleges that Ndebele committed an offence of bigamy since he knew that his monogamous marriage with Catherine did not allow him to enter into any other form of marriage.
That subsequently led to his arrest. -B Metro