By PERPETUAL SICHIKWENKWE –
THE Lusaka High Court has dissolved the marriage of a Lusaka clergyman Simon Chihana to his wife of 29 years after she alleged that the church leader was unfaithful.
Pastor Idah Sitemba had petitioned her husband, a bishop at Royal Nations Church, for divorce because their marriage had broken down irretrievably, and that the two were not expected to continue living together as wife and husband.
She told the court that the couple went on separation in March 2012 and that Bishop Chihana, 59, who is the International Fellowship of Christian Churches leader, had a child of about one month old with another woman.
Judge Mwila Kombe, who annulled the marriage, said matrimony of the couple had broken down irreversibly.
“I accordingly decree that the said marriage be dissolved and a decree nisi is hereby granted dissolving the marriage. The decree is to be made absolute within six weeks of the date hereof unless sufficient cause is shown to the court why it should not be so,” Ms Justice Kombe said in the judgment delivered on Thursday.
Ms Justice Kombe said either party was at liberty to file a formal application before the deputy Registrar of the High Court for the determination of the issue of maintenance and property adjustment.
She ordered that the issue of custody of the seven children of the familly should be heard before her on application by either Bishop Chihana or his former wife.
Pastor Sitemba and Bishop Chihana were married on February 28, 1987 at Ebenezer Tabernacle of Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church in Kabwe.
They last lived together as wife and husband in Ibex Hill in Lusaka.
She told the court that she wanted an official divorce after the couple had lived apart continuously since 2012 and that Bishop Chihana consented to it.
Pastor Sitemba said the two went on separation because Bishop Chihana was unfaithful and had made it clear through his conduct that he did not want her.