Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE Member of Parliament for Mberengwa North, Cde Tafanana Zhou, is challenging a $30 000 lawsuit by a local woman accusing him of breaching a promise to marry after allegedly breaking her virginity.
The Mberengwa woman, Ms Henrietta Tafadzwa Chauke (35), a student nurse in Harare, through her lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, last week filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court under case number HC 980/19 citing Cde Zhou as a defendant.
She is demanding $30 000 from the politician for contumelia arising from the alleged breach of promise to marry her. Ms Chauke said she fell for the legislator in February last year after he had promised to marry her.
Cde Zhou is however, challenging the summons and wants the application to be dismissed, claiming the woman is a serial litigant who is abusing court processes to humiliate him.
In papers before the court, the politician said she did not know Ms Chauke and the allegations were trumped up charges.
Cde Zhou through his lawyer Mr Tawanda Tavengwa of Mutuso, Taruvinga and Mhiribidi Legal Practitioners, filed an application for dismissal of action at the Bulawayo High Court, citing Ms Chauke as a respondent.
“The respondent is not personally known to me and I have never met her and what I know is that I received WhatsApp messages from a person who alleged to be the respondent making sexual advances towards me. The person went as far as introducing herself to me by sending me her pictures and I did not respond,” he said.
“I submit that the respondent cannot prove at all that she is known to me and that I had sexual intercourse with her.”
In papers before the court, Cde Zhou also attached WhatsApp messages where Ms Chauke was allegedly pestering him for sex.
He further said the respondent raised similar allegations against one Mr Simon Magidivana in 2014 demanding US$10 000 for contumelia.
“Most importantly, she alleges at the time she had sexual intercourse with me she was a virgin and this cannot be true. I am advised by my legal practitioner that on November 12, 2014 at Zvishavane magistrate court and under case number 999/14, the respondent instituted a claim of seduction against one Simon Magidivana of Zvishavane. In her particulars of claim, the respondent alleged that she fell in love with Magidivana between August and October in 2014 during which she was a virgin and they had sex,” he said.
Cde Zhou said Ms Chauke was abusing court processes, arguing that the woman carries no genuine intention of seeking seduction damages.
“It is my averment that the claim has no prospects of success. It is frivolous and vexatious in nature and is designed to tarnish my good name and social standing. I am a Member of Parliament and I am inclined to believe that it is my opponents who have hatched a plan to bring my name into disrepute. I aver that there are no issues in this matter as it is clear that as per respondent’s allegations she lost her virginity sometime in 2014. The claim by the respondent is not made with a bona fide intention of seeking justice. Wherefore, I pray for an order dismissing with costs the summons filed under HC980/19,” said Cde Zhou.
Ms Chauke, in her summons, said she fell in love with the MP in February 2018 and three months later he orally made a promise to marry her.
She said she had sexual intercourse with Cde Zhou which was premised on prospects for an imminent marriage. At the time of the sexual intercourse with Cde Zhou, Ms Chauke said she was a virgin.
The woman said Cde Zhou terminated their relationship in February this year for no apparent reason, consequently violating his promise to marry her.
She wants to be compensated for damages emanating from her alleged former boyfriend’s actions.