The supreme court has ruled that Marry Mubaiwa’s successful claim in the High Court for custody of her three children was wrongly filed, rendering the whole process a legal nullity.

The appeal by Constantino Chiwenga over the custody order granted to his estranged wife was heard by Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, sitting with Justices Paddington Garwe and Justice Chinembiri Bhunu.

The supreme court said the High Court should have refused to hear the matter as a result: “The matter be and is hereby struck off the roll with costs.”

Chiwenga and Marry have been living separately after the General moved into another house on arrival from China, where he was hospitalized for four months.

Mubaiwa made unsubstantiated accusations that their father, Constantino Chiwenga, had abducted his own children, but she withdrew the accusation during the hearing of the appeal.

The judges unanimously ruled that Mary should have claimed custody of her children under the Guardianship of Minors Act, which has sections that allow a court to determine the question of custody of minor children when spouses begin to live apart.