The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Brig-Gen's Wife Demands U.S.$15 000 Maintenance

Zimbabwe National Army Brigadier General and medical doctor Celestino Bhasera was yesterday taken to the Civil Court by his estranged wife of Congolese origin seeking US$15 000 maintenance fees for herself and two minor children.

Yvonne Bhasera told the Harare civil court that she was seeking US$2 000 as her maintenance fee and US$6 500 per each child.

Yvonne said she is legally married to Brig-Gen Bhasera under the Democratic Republic of Congo laws equivalent to Zimbabwe's Chapter 5.11.

"My husband earns about US$20 000 per month. He is ZNA Brigadier General, works for UNDP and he is also a qualified medical doctor. We own 20 surgeries, a farm and bar to say the least.

"I am not asking for too much money but only a little from what he earns. I was married to this man for 13 years but he doesn't want to buy me even a pad," she said.

"He never wanted to register our marriage in Zimbabwe because he thought I would run away from our investments going back to Congo."

Yvonne added that she also needed a better vehicle from her husband because the Government vehicle she was driving was not suitable for her and the kids.

"He introduced us to this lifestyle and he cannot change it now," she said.

In his counter argument Brig-Gen Bhasera told the court that his wife's claim of US$15 000 was unreasonable.

"I married this woman in Congo in the year 2001 and I deny the equivalence of that marriage to Zimbabwe law because the marriage is not registered in this country.

"Her real name is Alaba Mulumba not Bhasera as she is alleging. I am legally married to Tendai under Zimbabwean law, a marriage, which existed before she came into the picture.

"She is also a medical doctor who decided to become a business woman. I helped her register a company in Congo that imports coal and cigarettes. She told me that the company had a business turnover of US$40 000 of which 30 percent is her net," he said.

He added that at one point he helped her count US$96 000 and she is hardly at home because of her business commitments.

"I am offering her US$800 and I will pay the children's school fees which is US$2 800. She is a successful businesswoman with properties in Congo, she does not need to be maintained.

"As a director of health, I was seconded as the Global Fund co-ordinator that is why I interact with UNDP on behalf of the Ministry of Health.

"I have only three surgeries, one in Budiriro, one in Highfield and another in town but my clients have since dwindled because I hardly have time due to my tight work schedule," he said.

Magistrate Ms Tendai Rusinahama postponed the matter to today for ruling.

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