LUSAKA High Court judge Dorcus Malama has dissolved the marriage between former Chilanga UPND member of parliament Keith Mukata and wife Maricoh Roisin Hoare.

Last year on November 5, Maricoh filed for divorce, alleging that her marriage with Mukata had broken down irretrievably.

In response, Mukata filed an answer and cross-petition in which he admitted that their marriage had broken down irretrievably.

Mukata stated that Maricoh attempted to commit fraud twice when she allegedly transferred into her names a motor vehicle and a farm jointly owned by the couple.

He alleged that Maricoh ran down all the businesses financed by him and spent the money on partying.

Mukata further alleged that the marriage had broken down as Maricoh engaged in extra marital affairs.

He accused her of receiving money from a man she claimed to be an old lover, to whom she allegedly tricked him (Mukata) to hand over his motor vehicle.

Mukuta also accused his wife of abandoning him and the children of the family during the period of his incarceration.

Delivering judgment in the matter, judge Malama said it was clear from Mukata’s evidence on record that there was no mutual love between the couple and that there was no recognition of the existence of their marriage.

She found that Maricoh’s behaviour towards her husband was not only unreasonable but also atypical of the union of marriage.

“This is because the petitioner’s behaviour not only shows total disregard for the respondent as a party to the marriage but also not in consonant with the subsistence and sustenance of a marriage. On the totality of the respondent’s undisputed evidence on record and the authorities cited, I find that the respondent (Mukata) has proved that the marriage, which was solemnized on September 8, 2017 at the office of the Registrar of Marriages, in Lusaka, under the Marriage Act, between the petitioner and the respondent has broken down irretrievably by reason of the fact that the petitioner has behaved in such a way that the respondent cannot reasonably be expected to live with the petitioner,” judge Malama said.

She declared that the marriage be dissolved and granted Mukata a decree nisi.

Judge Malama said the decree nisi shall be absolute after the prescribed statutory period of six weeks from the date of the judgement unless cause is shown why the same cannot be made absolute.

She also referred the issue of custody of the children to herself for determination on formal application by either party in default of agreement.

“The said application should be made within 30 days from the date of this Judgement,” judge Malama said.

She directed that each party bears their own costs and granted leave to appeal.