Supreme Court docket upholds joint little one custody, Muteswa-Buyanga battle again at Excessive Court docket

HARARE – The Supreme Court upheld a landmark March 2020 High Court ruling granting parents joint guardianship and custody of children out of wedlock.

In the event of a dispute, however, the courts should conduct an investigation to determine whether joint custody and guardianship are in the best interests of the child, the top court ruled.

The Supreme Court ruled Monday this week after Chantelle Tatenda Muteswa appealed, who started Judge Happias Zhou’s verdict, to grant her ex-boyfriend Frank Buyanga Sadiqi joint custody and guardianship of their six-year-old son Daniel Alexander Sadiqi.

With the consent of Muteswa and Buyanga’s attorneys, three Supreme Court justices said that Muteswa’s appeal was partially successful as they changed part of Judge Zhou’s verdict and ruled that the dispute should be referred back to the Supreme Court, “for the To clarify the question of joint custody and joint guardianship after an investigation into whether joint custody and joint guardianship corresponds to the best interests of the child according to the circumstances of the parties.

The High Court granted Buyanga joint custody and guardianship on the understanding that “If a decision by one parent on any matter relating to guardianship is inconsistent with the will of the other parent and affects the life, health and morals of the Could affect minors ”. Child, and the complainant and defendant cannot agree, either party can call a High Court judge in Chambers to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child. “

Also replaced and repealed was Judge Zhou’s order that within 30 days of his ruling that a government social worker should be appointed by the Chancellor of the High Court to interrogate the underage child and “finalize a report” before a High Court judge “To be submitted to enact the full terms of joint custody.”

However, the Supreme Court critically upheld Judge Zhou’s ruling: “The common law rule, which gives the mother of a illegitimate child sole guardianship and sole custody, and denies parental authority to the natural father of such a child, contradicts § Section 56 (1), 56 (3), 81 (1) (a) and 81 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and is invalid. “

Battle Royale… Chantelle Muteswa and Frank Buyanga are embroiled in a bitter custody battle over their six-year-old son

The custody battle between Buyanga and Muteswa has been raging for years. The multi-million dollar businessman had custody of the child early last year, but Muteswa picked the boy up from school – which sparked a series of dramatic events.

After reporting his son missing to the police, Buyanga later accused authorities of thwarting his efforts to find the boy. In March 2020, a desperate Muteswa called the police after Daniel was confiscated from a parked vehicle in Harare.

Buyanga wrote to the police after the incident that he was withdrawing his missing person report. “I found my son in Parktown stores in Harare,” he wrote.

A court ordered Buyanga to bring the boy back to Muteswa within hours, but Buyanga had already left the country – the authorities said illegally. Since then he has been listed on Interpol’s Red Notice and is said to live in South Africa.

Commenting on the Supreme Court’s ruling, a legal expert said: “The position of the Supreme Court, which encroaches on common law, has been affirmed.

“The High Court must examine the specific facts of this matter to see if there is a basis for joint custody, which means Buyanga must be in the country for this investigation to be conducted, which puts him in a precarious legal position. “

Buyanga was represented by attorney Lewis Uriri, while Munyaradzi Bwanya and Choice Damiso sat on the appeals court with Judges Samuel Kudya, Tendai Uchena and Alphas Chitakunye.

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