In his application to be appointed guardian of a minor child K.N
HIGH COURT OF ZIMBABWE
HARARE, 10 and 11 April 2018
Family law -Chamber application for guardianship
CHIRAWU-MUGOMBA J: This matter was placed before me in chambers. The applicant seeks an order that he be awarded guardianship of his almost seventeen year old grandchild K. N born on the 4th of November 2001. The applicant averred that the minor child was born to his daughter Joyce Sibanda and one Tavengwa Ngwenya. At the time of the application, Joyce Sibanda had passed away and the whereabouts of the child’s father were unknown though he was rumoured to be in South Africa. The applicant’s case was based on the fact that he has stayed with the child since birth and the father of the child has not contributed anything to the upkeep of the child. Even after the death of his daughter, the applicant avers that he has continued to look after the child and he has become the de facto custodian and guardian. He believes that he is a fit and proper person to be appointed guardian of the minor child.
The applicant properly brought the matter to the High Court based on the fact that one parent of the child is still alive. This is due to the provisions of ss 9(1) (2) of the Children’s Act [Chapter 5:08] which read:
“9 (1) Without prejudice to the rights, powers and privileges of the High Court as upper guardian of minor children, and the Master in terms of section 74 of the Administration of Estates Act [Chapter 6:01], the children’s court may, on application in terms of this section, appoint a fit and proper person to be the guardian of a minor who has no natural guardian or tutor testamentary.
(2) Where a minor has no natural guardian or tutor testamentary—
(a) a relative or person having the care and custody of the minor; or
(b) a probation officer;
may apply to the children’s court by way of an application lodged with the clerk of that court for the appointment of a person as guardian of the minor, and such application may propose the appointment of a specified person as the guardian.”