SC 24-13 - MORONEY v MORONEY

VYVYAN JEAN MORONEY    

v    

 MICHAEL PATRICK MORONEY

 

SUPREME COURT OF ZIMBABWE

GARWE JA, GOWORA JA & OMERJEE AJA

HARARE, JANUARY 21 & OCTOBER 31, 2013

T Mpofu, for the appellant

E W W Morris, for the respondent

 

OMERJEE AJA: This is an appeal against part of the judgment given by the High Court, in an action for a decree of divorce and ancillary relief commenced by the respondent against the appellant. The question for determination is whether or not, in making the order with regard to the division, apportionment or distribution of the assets of the spouses, the court a quo, regard being had to the discretion conferred upon it under s 7(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act [Cap. 5:13] (“the Act”), did not distribute these assets equitably.

The background relevant to the determination of this matter is as follows.  The parties’ marriage was solemnised on 21 November 1970 at Salisbury (now Harare) in terms of the Marriage Act, 1964 (now the Marriage Act [Cap 5:11]). For a period of over thirty years the parties enjoyed a happy marriage relationship from which union two children were born, Glenn Moroney in 1972 and Toni-Anne Michelle Moroney in 1974.  In 2001 irreconcilable differences developed between the parties leading to a voluntary separation during the year.

On 2 December 2004 the respondent instituted proceedings against the appellant in the High Court in which he claimed for a decree of divorce and the division of assets in the manner he considered just and equitable. In her plea before the High Court the appellant conceded that the marriage relationship had irretrievably broken down. She, however, claimed the division of the assets in the manner she too considered would be just and equitable. She also claimed periodical payment of maintenance in the sum of ZW$5000 000.00 per month reviewable after every 6 months.

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