Mugabe critic sued for adultery
The outspoken critic of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Archbishop Pius Ncube, is being taken to court for allegedly having an affair with one of his secretaries.
The lawsuit, filed yesterday by the husband of the woman in question, Mrs. Rosemary Sibanda, asks for the equivalent of $160,000 as compensation for emotional damages and the loss of companionship.
In reaction to the filing of charges against the cleric, the Archbishop’s lawyer said that the claims are part of an “orchestrated attempt” to embarrass his client.
Photographs were published yesterday by the state-run media that claim to show the Archbishop undressing in his bedroom with the plaintiff’s wife.
Democracy activist David Coltart, a Bulawayo attorney and longtime friend of Ncube, said the only incriminating photographs were blurred and did not conclusively show the archbishop.
Mr. Onesimus Sibanda, the husband who filed suit, is railroad technician. He was unlikely to have been able mount an elaborate "sting operation" and litigation alone, Coltart said.
Previously, state intelligence agents used a hidden camera in the treason case against Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai was acquitted in 2004 after more than a year of court hearings.
However, in an interview on state television, Archbishop Ncube said, "We all have weaknesses. That's why when we pray we always ask God for forgiveness.”
He continued: "I will not answer this question concerning my private life. Yes, I did take a vow. There are a whole lot of other circumstances that take place in a person's life. I would not be able to answer those items."
The Church leader has said that he will deal with the allegations in the courts and not on a television camera. “Yes I have been served with the summons but at this juncture I am saying let us deal with the courts since the case is already before the courts," according to Reuters.