By MWANGALA LISELI
A SEVENTEEN-year-old girl has shocked a full packed Lusaka Boma court when she told her father that she is no longer interested in school but marriage.
Martha Phiri was doing her grade nine but eloped with her boyfriend Lackson Mtonga before telling her father that she was no longer willing to continue with school but rather stay in marriage.
This was a case where Martha’s father James Phiri, 43, sued Mtonga for compensation after the defendant eloped with his daughter.
In her testimony before the local court, Martha admitted that she spent a night at her Mtonga’s place before she was forced by her father to stay with her boyfriend when she tried to return the following morning.
“On the fateful Sunday, I went to church but later met with my boyfriend at his house. When I wanted to leave, I felt some pain on my foot such that I could not walk, and decided to sleep there,” she said.
“However, when I went home the following morning, my father took me back to my boyfriend’s home where I stayed for two weeks.”
She said her father later came and started insulting and beating her up and when they got home, she sat him and her grandmother down to tell them that she wanted marriage instead of school.
Martha told the court that she was however surprised that her parents later went to shout at her and her boyfriend before being withdrawn from the union.
“After they came to Lackson’s house insulting and beating me, we went home and I told them that I wanted to get married but they refused me and said I should continue with school,” Martha said.
Martha said she however, forced her way back to the boyfriend although her mother threatened to have her boyfriend arrested for marrying her.
Mtonga, however, said he accepted having spent a night with Martha only because she was unable to walk back home due to the pain on her foot but was shocked when her father bounced her back.
After the incident, Mtonga said he had gone to plead for forgiveness from Phiri but he refused to get back his daughter.
The defendant was surprised that Martha was brought back by her grandmother.
Phiri said he was disappointed with his daughter as he wanted her to continue with her education after paying for her examinations which she preferred to skip because of her appetite for marriage.
He said he was unhappy that Mtonga was staying with his daughter when
the plaintiff wanted to take her child to school hence his decision to seek court redress.
Senior court magistrate Grace Kanta sitting magistrates Morgan Khayanika and Peggy Nyambe ordered Mtonga to compensate Phiri with K3,500 which should be settled monthly instalments of K300.
Times of Zambia