The Lusaka High Court has dissolved the 12-year-old marriage between Nalolo Independent member of parliament George Imbuwa and his wife, Ushe Mweemba.
High Court judge Mapani Kawimbe dissolved the marriage between the couple as prayed for by Mweemba.
In this matter, Imbuwa’s wife, Mweemba had asked the Court to dissolve her marriage with the parliamentarian for abandoning their matrimonial home.
She disclosed that her husband had stayed at Parliament Motel since 2016 and only went home when Parliament was not in session, adding that even when he did, he slept in a separate room.
Mweemba had lamented that their marriage had broken down irretrievably and that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with him.
She added that her husband had ceased to speak to her or having meals with the family, further stating that she had not been intimate with him since September 2017 as he had been uninterested and unresponsive.
In a petition for dissolution of marriage filed on, February 5, Mweemba explained that the couple got married on December 5, 2007 and had three children between them, while Imbuwa had three other older children from his previous marriage.
But in his answer and cross petition, Imbuwa denied that the couple’s marriage had broken down on account of his unreasonable behaviour saying it was the other way round.
Imbuwa accused his wife of not staying at home and only returning late at around 22:00 hours and sometimes in the ‘wee’ hours of the morning.
He added that his wife’s conduct which had been characterized by excess alcohol consumption, had repeatedly resulted in violent confrontations perpetuated by her when he questioned her whereabouts.
“Her conduct has resulted in the children of the family having little or no care despite her not being in employment because she is occupied with alcohol consumption and being away from home,” Imbuwa had stated.
He claimed that his wife had failed to maintain their matrimonial home in a clean manner due to the time spent away from home, prompting him to hire two maids when their house was small.
“Her conduct has reached alarming levels forcing the petitioner to lock himself in a separate room in their house to escape her alcohol induced violent conduct for the sake of the children as well as his standing as a public figure, who members of the public look up to. The petitioner has behaved in such a way that he cannot live with her,” Imbuwa stated.
“Due to the petitioner’s unreasonable behavior, the respondent finds it intolerant to continue cohabiting with her as they have been living apart since 2017.”
The lawmaker lamented that he could not find it in him to reconcile and resume cohabitation with his wife as he still finds her unreasonable behaviour exceptionally intolerable.
He prayed that their 12-year marriage be dissolved and that Mweemba should vacate their matrimonial home as he purchased it before the marriage was solemnized.
And in her judgement dated June 25, justice Kawimbe dissolved the marriage, saying she was satisfied that it had broken down irretrievably on the ground that the couple had lived separately and apart from September 2016 to date.
She observed that the couple was not willing to reconcile and that Imbuwa had consented to the granting of a decree nisi.
“I therefore dissolved the marriage between the petitioner and the respondent as prayed for by the petitioner and accordingly grant the decree nisi. The decree nisi will be made absolute six weeks from the date of this judgement. I will determine the question of custody, while the learned deputy registrar will determine the question of property settlement upon application by either party. Each party will bear their own costs,” ruled justice Kawimbe.