HARARE – A Nigerian man who married two local women in four days before the same magistrate is awaiting deportation after he was convicted of bigamy and perjury.
Henry Inedoro (46), who was deported in 1998 using the name George Asinayo before sneaking back into the country, appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe.
He pleaded guilty to bigamy and perjury and the magistrate fined him US$100 or 20 days in prison coupled with deportation after payment of the fine or jail term.
The complainant in the case is Mr Godfrey Kondo of the Immigration Department.
The agreed facts are that on July 16 2004, Inedoro legally married Ms Asshla Madziwanzira under the Marriage Act Chapter 5:11 and a marriage certificate number 1704/04 was issued at the Harare Magistrates’ Court.
Four days later, Inedoro legally married Rumbidzai Chitova under Marriage Act Chapter 5:11 and a marriage certificate 1723/04 was issued at the same court.
The two marriages were solemnised by the same marriage officer, Ms Marehwanazvo Gofa. The State says Inedoro married the second wife without cancelling the first marriage as required by the law.
Inedoro, in a bid to facilitate the second marriage, misrepresented to the magistrate that he was a bachelor hence he was given the green light to marry. Marriage Act Chapter 5:11 binds a man to have one wife.
Before a foreigner marries a Zimbabwean woman, he is also supposed to produce a certificate from his country certifying that he is not married.
Judicial Services Commission deputy secretary Mr Rex Shana yesterday said it was possible for a magistrate to wed a person twice within a short period depending on the volumes of people who would have appeared before him or her for purposes of marriage.
“We are dealing with so many people everyday. It is possible for one to wed a person twice, it can be a pure case of human error,’’ he said.
Mr Shana, however, said a person who appears before a magistrate twice for marriage under the Marriage Act Chapter 5:11 would have committed an offence.
The Zimbabwe Mail