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Justice Mangota in maintenance row

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE The estranged wife of High Court judge David Mangota has approached the courts seeking a variation of her $500 monthly maintenance fees which she is receiving from the judge, saying it was not sufficient to meet her monthly needs. In 2016, Mangota was paying US$500 maintenance fees and had continued paying the same figure in Zimbabwe dollars to date despite the devaluation of the local unit against the greenback and high inflation. Roselynne Grenny Mangota also demanded a portion of their Marondera farm. She said she left her full-time job at Mangota’s instance so that she could concentrate on their farming activities. “The respondent and I were first allocated a farm in the Marondera area, where I was responsible for the farming activities on a full-time basis after Mangota directed that I leave formal employment which I did,” she wrote. “I had left formal employment to concentrate on our farming activities. I contend that I have tangible real rights over the farm and am entitled to benefit from it.” Roselynne said the courts, as an institution of government, would fully recognise the need to ensure that as a woman, she gets either a portion of the land or the entire farm because she also deserves post-divorce maintenance. Her only sustenance after divorce, she said, was income derived from the farm. “I am a pensioner and of poor health. I am not in receipt of any pension as I had contributed for less than 10 years to NSSA [National Social Security Authority] when I left employment. “As husband and wife, we had empowered each other over the years. I am the one who gave Mangota his first driving lesson in my car when he had no motor vehicle. Although I am qualified on paper, there simply are no jobs for people of my age with underlying health problems,” she said. “I should be allowed to stay on the farm and run an income-generating project there as the $500 per month erratically paid by the respondent is less than what he pays his domestic staff.” Roselynne said she was now surviving on the goodwill of her relatives who regularly buy her medication as she could not afford them from the $500 she receives as maintenance fees. “The respondent’s attitude is most unfortunate coming from a sitting judge. I contend that his conduct in not responding to letters and to now claiming my son was the intended beneficiary of the maintenance is so ridiculous that it can only be maliciously held,” she said. The response was served to Mangota who was yet to respond.

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