4 marriages in 4 years: Latest on businessman who is suing his wife for R15 million and demanding R1.6million lobola back

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The bitter fallout of a short-lived marriage is playing out in the public eye, with accusations of infidelity, deceit, and a shocking demand for the return of lobola money. Shepherd Chipatiko, a South African businessman, is suing his ex-wife, Varaidzo Marylyn Kunze, for R15 000 000 (approximately US$850 000) for alleged defamation, and demanding the return of the R1 600 000 (approximately US$91 000) he paid for her hand in marriage. The couple's tumultuous relationship, which ended in December 2023, has become a social media spectacle, with both parties airing their grievances in public pronouncements.

At the heart of the dispute is a series of allegations and counter-allegations, with both parties painting starkly different pictures of their relationship. Varaidzo, in a lengthy social media post, detailed her version of events, alleging that Shepherd had been married three times in the space of four years before their union, and that his current wife, Caroline Mugarisanwa, an elder at ZAOGA (Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa), had been involved in an extramarital affair with him.

"As most of you know I was married to Shepherd Chipatiko. This is with great sadness to inform you that we are no longer together," Varaidzo wrote in her post. She went on to detail Shepherd's previous marriages and the alleged affair with Mugarisanwa, adding, "Last Saturday, after moving out of our home he married this same woman, Carol Mugarisanwa, for the 4th time in a space of 4 years. Who is meant to be an Elder at ZAOGA?"


Shepherd, however, vehemently denies Varaidzo's claims, accusing her of a pattern of deceit and manipulation. In an interview with H-Metro, he painted a picture of a woman who, he alleges, was not who she claimed to be.

"What irks me more is that her mother knew her daughter’s games of defrauding men," he said.

Shepherd further alleged that Varaidzo had attempted to deceive him by offering him her younger sister and then her daughter, Thando Sibanda, as a way to cover up her alleged lies.

Adding to the drama, Shepherd claims that a man named Lawrence Mhuka from Cape Town has come forward alleging that Varaidzo was pregnant with his child during her marriage to Shepherd.

"We are currently hunting for her and have since reported the matter to the police here in South Africa, with expectations that the hunt for her begins now," he stated.

The accusations and counter-accusations have left the public bewildered, with many questioning the true nature of the couple's relationship and the motives behind their public pronouncements.

The legal battle that has ensued is likely to be a protracted and messy affair, with both parties seeking to clear their names and secure justice in the court of public opinion.


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