Simwinga, Mwanawasa removed from Okpara divorce petition

FOREIGN affairs permanent secretary Ronald Simwinga and former Central Province permanent secretary Patrick Mwanawasa have been misjoined from the matter in which Lusaka businessman Kombe Okpara petitioned his wife Musamba Mulenga for divorce for engaging in adultery with the duo.

This is according to a consent agreement signed by the parties.

“By consent of the parties it is hereby agreed that the petitioner amends the petition which was filed into court on September 17, 2019. The respondent (Musamba Mulenga) withdraws from the record her answer, notice of non-admission of documents, notice to produce and skeleton arguments which were filed into court on October 7, 2019 and August 17, 2020 respectively,” ordered judge William Mweemba. “That the petitioner withdraws from the record his reply, list of documents and bundles of documents which were filed into court on February 3, 2020, July 31, 2020 and September 3, 2020 respectively, that Simwinga and Mwanawasa be struck out from the action and that each party will bare their own costs for these proceedings.”

According to his petition for the dissolution of the marriage, Okpara contended that his wife admitted committing adultery with Simwinga and Mwanawasa, therefore, he found it intolerable to continue living with her upon discovering that she had engaged in adulterous acts.

The petitioner stated that on November 3, 2018 Mulenga and Mwanawasa had spent time together at a short-term rented duplex apartment at Roma place situated on Lukanga road in Roma township.

Okpara claimed Mulenga and Mwanawasa spent about five hours in the said apartment from 17:00 hours to 21:45 hours after which Mwanawasa allegedly complained of pain on his manhood following the alleged sexual encounter.

Okpara also cited unreasonable behaviour among other reasons, claiming that Mulenga arranged and hosted a party for Simwinga at her sister’s house and convinced him that it was a kind gesture to appreciate Simwinga for the favours that he did for her family.

The petitioner said his wife asked him to be present at the party and entertain the guests, little did he know that the primary guest was actually Mulenga’s sexual partner.

“The respondent would remain with keys to the first co-respondent’s (Simwinga) house when he was going out of the country. The respondent (Mulenga) admitted that she has been in an intimate relationship with the first co-respondent since 2016,” he stated. “In October 2018 the respondent complained to the first co-respondent for not updating her about his flight schedules connecting from Johannesburg to which he apologised for the omission.”

Okpara stated that Mulenga would bring men to their matrimonial house whenever he was out of the country to perform his duties and they would get her cooked food and takeaways.

He further contended that Mulenga would receive lingerie as gifts from other men, and talk on phone with male friends whom she has relations within the bearing of the children of the family.

“The respondent has behaved in such a way that the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent and prays that the said marriage be dissolved,” submitted Okpara.

In her answer to the petition, Mulenga stated that she did not behave unreasonably claiming that Mwanawasa is a friend who was at the time working in Eastern Province and whilst in Lusaka he rented a duplex apartment to enable him hold meetings.

Mulenga indicated that she decided to visit Mwanawasa at his apartment as friends would normally do, adding that when someone’s manhood is in pain it does not prove that the person was from having sex as there were several reasons that could explain such pain.

The respondent denied allegations by Okpara that she hosted a party for Simwiinga claiming that it was a lunch time event at her sister’s house with not more than five adult members in attendance and that he has never been her sexual partner as the relationship has always been platonic.

Mulenga confirmed receiving a gift from a friend claiming that when she unwrapped it and discovered that it was lingerie she disposed it off.

She further cited unreasonable behaviour by Okpara as the reason for the pair’s separation.

However, in his amended petition Okpara prayed that he be separated from Mulenga and the marriage be dissolved because they have lived apart for a continuous period of two years immediately preceding the presentation of petition which his wife consents to.

He said the parties have agreed that they will support their children.

Okpara further prayed to justice Mweemba for an order of custody, property settlement and that each party bears their own costs.

In her amended answer Mulenga who is an investments officer at Development Bank of Zambia admitted that her marriage to Okpara has broken down irretrievably on account of the parties living apart for two years hence her reason to consent to the dissolution of the marriage.

Mulenga said there is no room for reconciliation and she does not object to a decree nisi being granted neither does she intend to defend the matter.
She equally prayed that the marriage be dissolved, the court orders for property settlement and an order for custody and maintenance of their children.

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