The estranged wife of Family of God Church leader Andrew Wutawunashe is demanding a share of the church’s property in a messy divorce.
Rutendo Faith and her husband are seeking to end their marriage. Rutendo says her husband’s head had been turned by a Tswana small house.Wutawunashe, who has six children with Rutendo, told the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down to such an extent that the two can no longer live together as husband and wife. He said there were no prospects of a restoration to a normal marriage.
However, the two are fighting over how to share the church property. “The church property is not part of the matrimonial assets for the parties and remains the exclusive property of a universitas.
“The rest of other claimed properties by the defendant belong to specific third parties and some are properties the church is renting out,” Wutawunashe said.He proposed that upon the granting of the decree of divorce, he must be awarded a house at number 89 Cheltenham Drive Park, Ruwa, and that Rutendo gets number 42 Stratford Drive, Greystone Park home in Harare and stand number 2663 Tettenhall Flat also in Harare.
He also demanded that stand number 1319 along Fife Avenue in Harare be awarded to Rutendo so that she uses it as a surgery to generate income since she is a qualified medical practitioner who is able bodied.
Wutawunashe argued that she did not require post-divorce maintenance at all. He further said that Rutendo has the means, arguing that he survives on a pittance from church members.
However, the wife wants the church property to be included in the sharing of their matrimonial property, a demand that Wutawunashe vehemently contested.Wutawunashe said Rutendo is not a co-founder of the Family of God Church or any of its related ministries, which he claims belong to the Trustees for Andrew Wutawunashe World Witness or the Family of God Church.
However, Rutendo challenged Wutawunashe’s claims that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.She said that Wutawunashe had simply deserted the parties’ matrimonial home, adding that she did not agree to any separation, adding that the clergyman was seeing a Tswana woman.
“Defendant is advised that the plaintiff is in an unholy extra-marital relationship with another woman, the seemingly breakdown in the parties’ marital relationship is because of the plaintiff’s illicit extra-marital affair with the said female who has taken control of plaintiff’s life,” Rutendo said, adding that Wutawunashe could be under a spell or might have lost his senses.
She demanded a $200 000 lump sum or alternatively an order for $5 000 monthly maintenance if the divorce decree is granted.
She said she is entitled to a share of the church assets because it has always been part of their family and that she sacrificed her medical profession to pursue the church vision. She said Wutawunashe is the sole controller of the trust that manages the church affairs.
“He exercises de facto control of the trust and its assets. From the registration of the trust in 2001 until January 2013, no meeting of the trustees was ever convened and the other two trustees acted solely on his instructions,” she said.
The matter was brought before High Court judge Alfas Chitakunye yesterday for a pre-trial conference on issues that are to be determined before passing the decree of divorce.