Zimbabwean bigamist caught by wife No2 is jailed

LEEDS, UK – A Zimbabwean bigamist in Leeds was exposed when his second wife caught him with his first spouse, a court heard.

Joshua Veremu, 36, formerly of Amberton Garth, Gipton, Leeds, told his new love Tsitsi Nyakudziwanza that his marriage to Memory Veremu was over and that he was going through a divorce, Leeds Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor, Richard Walters, said Tsitsi assumed the divorce had taken place when Veremu’s first wife moved to Middlesbrough.

Veremu wed Tsitsi in April 2006 at Cross Green C of E Church in Leeds and stated on the register that he was a single man. But the court heard he was still married to his first wife and had not annulled the vows they took Zimbabwe in September 1997.

Veremu and his first wife came to England in 2001 and a year later Tsitsi moved to this country with her boyfriend who she split up from in April 2005.

Mr Walters said soon after she met Veremu who told her he was in the throes of a divorce.

Mr Walters said: "He was regularly still visiting his wife. He had children with her."

Mr Walters added: "The complainant it seems had been told by the wife she was still married to the defendant but the complainant replied she was aware they were getting divorced.

"The complainant was told by her ex-boyfriend the defendant was married but she chose not to believe him."

The court heard Tsitsi caught Veremu with his first wife in December 2006, just eight months after the illegal wedding, and found out he was still married.

Veremu was arrested on suspicion of bigamy in October 2007.

Veremu told police he had been married in Zimbabwe and said Tsitsi knew about it but still wanted to marry him because of her immigration status in this country.

He agreed to go through with the marriage but had no intention of divorcing his wife.

Stephen Smithson for Veremu, said: "It was a marriage of convenience. The defendant is reconciled with his wife."

Jailing him for six months Judge Ian Dobkin told Veremu: "You have pleaded guilty to bigamy. Attitudes towards that offence were very strong some years ago. Perhaps they have become a little more relaxed … but it’s still a serious offence."
Yorkshire Evening Post