High Court of Zimbabwe

The Magistrate Court and High Court in Zimbabwe ruled that a husband is entitled to a full refund of his lobola if his wife cheats on him. The High Court also ruled that a husband is not entitled to pay any outstanding lobola balance if a wife commits adultery. The ruling was made by Justice Hlekani Mwayera and Justice Tendai Uchena.


Liberty Chingondo had divorced his wife after he found out that she had committed adultery with multiple partners ranging from his brothers, nephews and the herd boy. Chingondo's father-in-law Chikuza Fanuel Mangwende then approached the courts seeking an order compelling him to pay the outstanding lobola balance. After his application had been dismissed by the Magistrate's Court, the father-in-law then approached the High Court challenging the ruling by the Magistrate's Court.

Chingondo found out that his wife had been cheating on him after a newborn baby refused to breastfeed. The child only started to breastfeed after his/her mother confessed that she had committed adultery.

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The Ruling

Part of Justices Uchena and Mwayera's ruling reads:

"The court found that there was material breach of the very tenants of lobola. The court concluded that the appellant was not entitled to payment of the balance of lobola because his daughter who was married to the respondent committed adultery with multiple partners ranging from the respondent’s brothers, nephews and the herd boy. The court also found that customarily a husband is allowed to divorce an adulterous wife and then if he has paid lobola in full he is entitled to a refund of the lobola from the in laws."


PDF Download

You can download the PDF of the full High Court ruling on lobola refund here: www.pindula.co.zw/images/f/f8/2015-zwhhc-755.pdf


  1. Mangwende v Machodo (CIV ‘A’ 386/14) [2015 ZWHHC 755 (23 September 2015);], Zimlii, Published: September 23, 2015, Retrieved: April 28, 2021