High Court annuls Sangwa’s marriage

THE Lusaka High Court has annulled the marriage between constitutional lawyer John Sangwa and his wife Vivien Nsingo.

This is in a matter where Sangwa had petitioned his wife for divorce.

State Counsel Sangwa had prayed to the court that his 26-year-old marriage to Nsingo be dissolved as it had broken down irretrievably.

He further submitted that the couple had lived apart for a continuous period of more than five years, immediately preceding the presentation of the petition from December 2014 to date.

In his petition for dissolution of marriage, Sangwa said as a bachelor he was on June 6, 1993 lawfully married to Nsingo by way of a civil ceremony celebrated at the University of Zambia Chapel in Lusaka.

He said after the celebration of the marriage, the pair lived together as husband and wife at sub division 1 of sub-division ‘U’ of farm no 215a, Lusaka West.

He said both of them are lawyers and he resides at plot No.35 Kudu Road Kabulonga in Lusaka, while his wife resides at National Prosecutions Authority No.14, Off Finge Road, Northridge in Ndola.

Sangwa indicated that there were three male children between them. He said he was living with the youngest who was born on July 22, 1999; while the other was born on July 27, 1998 and the eldest was born on August 11,1994.

He explained that to the best of his knowledge there were no other children that had been born to the petitioner during the substance of the marriage.

Sangwa stated that there had been no previous proceedings in any court in Zambia or elsewhere with reference to the marriage between himself and Nsingo regarding property of either or both of them.

He added that there were no proceedings continuing in any court outside Zambia, in relation to their marriage which were capable of affecting its validity or substance.

Sangwa said he had formed a consensus with Nsingo for the maintenance of the children of the family.

“The said marriage has broken down irretrievably by reason of the fact that the petitioner and the respondent have lived apart for a continuous period of two (2) years immediately preceding the presentation of this petition: from December 2014 to date and the respondent consents to a decree nisi being granted,” Sangwa said.

He wanted the marriage to be dissolved and that parties bear their own costs of and occasioned by the petition.

When the matter came up for hearing before justice Nicola Sharpe-Phiri on September 28, Sangwa entirely relied on the contents of his petition while Nsingo, through her lawyer, indicated that she was not contesting the divorce and had willingly consented to the dissolution of the marriage.

In her judgement, justice Sharpe-Phiri said she was satisfied that the marriage had broken down irretrievably in accordance with section 8 and 9(1)(d) of the matrimonial causes Act no. 20 of 2007.

“This petition is uncontested and the respondent did provide her consent to decree nisi. I accept the evidence of the petitioner that his marriage to the respondent has broken down irretrievably and there is no hope of the parties reconciling or resuming cohabitation,” said judge Sharpe-Phiri. “On the totality of the evidence, I am satisfied that marriage solemnised on June 6, 1993 at the University of Zambia Chapel in Lusaka, has broken down irretrievably. I accordingly decree that the said marriage be dissolved and a decree nisi is hereby granted dissolving the marriage.”

The court directed that the decree would be made absolute within six weeks after judicial separation, unless sufficient reason was given to the court why it should not be made.

Justice Sharpe-Phiri made no orders in relation to the children of the family, maintenance or property adjustments as there was no request for such.

She further ordered that each party bears its own costs.

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