Businessman demands his R1.6 million lobola back: She lied about her age by 10 years and the children she has


In a tale of love, betrayal, and the bitter sting of broken promises, Shepherd Chipatiko, a prominent Zimbabwean businessman based in South Africa, is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with his ex-wife, Varaidzo Marylyn Kunze, as their short-lived marriage comes crashing down amidst a storm of personal attacks and accusations, has learnt.

Chipatiko is demanding the return of a staggering R1.6 million (approximately US$91,000) he had invested in lobola (bride price) and extravagant marriage celebrations, alleging that Kunze peddled falsehoods that tarnished his reputation.

The couple, who tied the knot in a customary ceremony last year, parted ways in December, leaving Chipatiko reeling from the alleged misrepresentations that he claims Kunze made about her age, pregnancy, and family status. In his legal claim, he is suing Kunze for R15,000, accusing her of defaming his character.

Chipatiko claims that Kunze even offered him her own daughter, Thando Sibanda, as a potential wife after their marriage dissolved.

"I now want her to refund me the lobola payment and celebrations amounting to R755 000, posh car for R385 000, Bitcoin loan of R100 000," Chipatiko told H-Metro. "She made a misrepresentation of a fake pregnancy, R320 000, age misrepresentation, and about having one child when she has two kids. I also want R15 000 for defamation of character."

Chipatiko paints a picture of a woman who, he claims, deliberately manipulated him for financial gain. He alleges that Kunze lied about her age, claiming to be 38 when she was actually 48, and fabricated a pregnancy to secure his commitment.

"She lied that she was pregnant and she was dating someone here in SA," Chipatiko said. "She was weighing on who to stay with and I engaged the guy who also said she was a fraudster."

The businessman claims that Kunze's deception extended to her family situation, falsely claiming to have only one child when she had two.

"This woman lied about her age that she is 38 yet she was 48 and even promised to give me her daughter, who is 25 years," Chipatiko said. "She promised to destroy my reputation."

Chipatiko's legal team, Kevin James McCallum Attorneys, has sent a strongly worded letter to Kunze, demanding a public apology, retraction of defamatory statements, and repayment of the R1,6 million.

"Our client instructs that you have published on every social media platform possible (including but not limited to Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube) as well as media outlets, Threads and Bluewheel Barrow Farm, both within the Republic of South Africa and Zimbabwe defamatory and slanderous comments with the specific aim and intention of defaming our client as well as his wife," the letter states.

The lawyers accuse Kunze of orchestrating a smear campaign against Chipatiko, using social media and traditional media outlets to spread false and damaging information.

"Your actions have as such led to our client incurring damages on a professional and business level as well as in his personal life," the letter reads.

The letter also alleges that Kunze forged Chipatiko's signature on numerous documents, a crime that could result in criminal charges.

"We are further instructed that not only have you shared our client’s personal and private information with media outlets but the personal and private information of his wife and minor children, which is in direct violation of the POPI Act which could result in a massive fine and/or imprisonment," the letter states.

The legal team is demanding immediate action from Kunze, including the removal of all defamatory social media posts, a public apology, and the repayment of the R1,6 million.

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