Thursday, July 26, 2007

Zimbabwe: Archbishop Ncube Requests Further Particulars of Claim

THE head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, who is facing a $20 billion lawsuit for adultery, is arguing that the case against him is vague and has demanded specific details.

He has filed papers in the High Court requesting further particulars of the claim against him.

Archbishop Ncube filed the request last Wednesday through his lawyer, Advocate Nicholas Mathonsi of Coghlan and Welsh Legal Practitioners.

A Bulawayo man, Mr Onesimus Sibanda, filed a lawsuit at the High Court against Archbishop Ncube, alleging that the man of the cloth was having an adulterous affair with his wife, Rosemary Sibanda.

Mr Sibanda wants to be paid $10 billion in adultery damages, alleging that Archbishop Ncube abused his trust and position and engaged in an unholy union with his wife. He also wants $5 billion for loss of consortium and $5 billion for "loss of contumelia".

Archbishop Ncube is defending, setting the stage for an epic court battle.

The archbishop's lawyer has demanded to know on what basis at law his client's alleged relationship with Mr Sibanda's wife is malicious.

The lawyer also wants Mr Sibanda to clarify where exactly he is employed and for how long he has been employed and his employment status and wants particulars of the marriage certificate.

Further, it is the archbishop's contention that the court should be supplied, as a matter of urgency, with facts regarding whether or not Mrs Sibanda has children and their birth certificates and he wants Mr Sibanda to provide the specific details of the extent, dates, time and venue of the alleged adultery.

Read part of Archbishop's Ncube's request:

"Who witnessed the alleged adultery? Specific names and details of the said witnesses are requested.

"How is it alleged that defendant knew of the marital status of plaintiff's wife? What comfort and society did plaintiff previously enjoy with his wife?

"It is being alleged that the plaintiff and his wife did not have problems before January 2006, if he did, particulars of the same are requested.

"How is it alleged that plaintiff was allegedly seriously humiliated and how was his dignity impaired? Of what religion is the plaintiff, and how was his faith shaken?

"How has the plaintiff suffered loss of consortium, what is the nature of problems he has had with his wife? Details of the same are requested since January 2006.

"What trust and what position did plaintiff have and how was it abused? Where and when was the marriage solemnised at the Roman Catholic Church?

"How is the $10 billion claimed? A clear breakdown is requested. How is the sum of $5 billion claimed? A clear breakdown is requested.

"How is the sum of $5 billion for loss of contumelia claimed? A clear breakdown is also requested."

Further, Advocate Mathonsi requested Mr Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga -- Mr Sibanda's lawyer -- to clarify the exact meaning of the phrase "loss of contumelia" and furnish an explanation on what basis at law Mr Sibanda, who claims to have lost contumelia, is suing for it.

Mr Nzarayapenga is yet to file the requested papers.

Archbishop Ncube has been in the news since July 16 when Mr Sibanda filed a $20 billion lawsuit against him at the High Court in Bulawayo last week, accusing him of having an adulterous relationship with his wife.

Mrs Sibanda has publicly confessed to having an affair with the archbishop, an avowed critic of the Government.

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