Magistrate in child custody battle, sues ex-lover

Exnobert Zulu
A MAGISTRATE has dragged his former girlfriend to court demanding custody of their four-year-old son.

Exnobert Zulu, the Livingstone principal resident magistrate, of number 5, SDF flats, Handsworth, has sued Natasha Zulu who he has accused of failing to look after their child.
He said the child had been left with the former girlfriend’s parents whose financial base was not solid.
Mr Zulu stated in his affidavit in support of originating summons that some time in or around February and March 2009, while in a relationship with Natasha, he met with her sexually and she conceived.
He said on November 1, 2009, a male child was born and that to date, he had been contributing towards the maintenance, education and health of their child.
The magistrate said attempts at reconciliation with Natasha had failed as she threatened to block him from seeing the child if he did not marry her.
Mr Zulu said in 2012, he married another woman, but that Natasha’s ‘unreasonable’ behaviour worsened.
He said Natasha hardly had time to be with the child, who remained with the maid and had been brought up by the former girlfriend’s cousin.
Mr Zulu said Natasha had moved into her own house in Makeni, leaving the child with her parents who in the recent past had moved from Kalundu to Chilenje South and were now in Luangwa Township.
He said the reason for Natasha’s parents’ movements was due to financial difficulties which had resulted in failure to pay rentals.
Mr Zulu said the circumstances the child was exposed to were not in its best interest.
He said the child was supposed to be staying with either Natasha or him and not the grandparents as was the case.
He said Natasha had no means to maintain the child.
Mr Zulu said the child who had so far spent two holidays with him and his wife had bonded well with them.
He said the court should allow him to take care of the child because he was in a gainful employment in the Judiciary as principal resident magistrate.
Mr Zulu said the continued stay of the child in Luangwa Township posed a threat to its security by reason of the numerous criminal matters that he handles.
He said if he was granted custody, Natasha would still have access to the child.



The Following “fictional ”  story is from

It shows some excellent talent at Story writing

NOTE:  Including the following story in this post DOES NOT imply that the story author is related to Exnobert Zulu, the Livingstone principal resident magistrate, NOR are any  IMAGES in  this POST.


THE INSIGNIFICANT OTHER (To my sibblings, and the things we lost to death) – By Exnobert Zulu

October 12, 2013 at 5:06am

The weather was perfect for an out of town drive. All I needed, to get loose, was an excuse. Now I had it. But for the well imbued, and executed rule of ‘No overnight Rendezvous..’ Siavonga would have been an impetuous destination. I switched on the radio and DJ Dazzle dutifully provided the entertainment. I thoroughly enjoyed his selection of Zambian music until he played Smokey Hangala’s KAVUNDULA. To avoid a spillage of bad omen to my marriage I switched stations to KOMBONI radio where the GO MAMA GO song properly sent me into a hypnotic trance.

Being a Friday, I had to find a way to get to Makeni and quickly pick her up lest she withdrew her offer.

I had just joined Kafue Road and was about to dare the vehicle when my phone rung. I had a rule, never to answer calls under such circumstances lest I receive inconveniencing News that would spoil my day and was bent on ignoring it when I saw the name of the caller. I defied my own rules and picked it.
“Your Worship, we’ve been waiting. All the parties and their respective Counsel are here.” The Marshal told me.
“Which Matter is that?” I asked.
“The one for custody Your Worship” she responded.
“Oh! The one for Sibongile! Just give me a few minutes”
A few minutes it would be. I dialled Doreen’s. number so I could let her in on my predicament, and assure her I would be there in no time. Her phone went unanswered.
“May she is bathing, or has left her Cell phone elsewhere” I soothed my bruised ego.
Just then I received a text message to the effect that the deal was off because she had to be somewhere.
“Women! Whoever made them believe they make the world go round!” I remonstrated.

A few violated traffic rules, and I was on the other side heading beck to town. I had to get to the Court sooner, dispose off the matter and plead my case with Doreen. There had to be a way for me to attain my much anticipated instant gratification.

Surprisingly, traffic into town was flowing smoothly. In no time I was making my turn from Independence Ave into Burma Road. My mind had switched to the Custody Case. I kept wondering why I had to deal with custody issues when in most African Societies, custody issues are dealt with at the Inception. I learnt, through experience that one of the payments a man makes as part of the bride price per Ngoni custom is MALOOLO which entitles a man to his children. In other words, a man practically buys off the woman’s rights to the children. That is why they carry the man’s name. I took a mental note and resolved, if the circumstances were right, to put the law straight. Often time we just borrow western ideologies and culture without understanding its implications. In the western world custody battles are in order because no one pays lobola.
“Someone has to stop this madness, its either a man gets his paid for Children as of right or the woman’s relatives are criminally indicted for obtaining money by false pretences…”
I was deeply engrossed in this thought process that I almost bashed little boy crossing the road on a Zebra crossing.

I was still panting for breath when I collapsed on my seat in Chambers. The Staircase has taken the breath out of me. I grudgingly acknowledged that old age had taken its tore. I was reading the record of proceedings when the Marshal came in.
“Can I usher the parties in?” She asked.
“Just a minute. Ask the little girl to come in first” I responded.
Having been on the Bench for a considerable period of time, I had learnt to respect that fact that in custody battles, the Courts’ primary concern was the best interest of the child. To ensure that the within objective is attained I developed a practice to interact with the Child involved before proceeding to hear the matter.

The door opened and an amazingly beautiful Six year old girl walked in. Nice white big eyes, long hair and a healthy structure. She could pass for Miss Universe. She gave me a generous smile and asked me if she could take a seat. I nodded in response.
My perusal of the record revealed that she was taking isiZulu classes. I thought of exercising my rusty Zulu as a way of ice breaking.
“Saubona” I greeted her, initiating the chat.
She smiled at me in utter disbelief. She giggled and responded.
“Ujani?” I asked.
“Ng’i a. phila, ng’i a bonga. Linjani?” She responded.
“Ng’i saphila. Igama lako ng’u bani?” I asked “igama lami ng’u Sibong’ile” she responded.
“Ng’i a jabula u’ku kwazi” I told her.

Our little chat was interrupted by the impatient Marshal who wanted to know whether we still needed more time. Being a Friday, I perfectly understood her question to mean I was wasting her time. She had a place she needed to be. To avoid tempting her to wrath I told her we could proceed.
To save her from the possible traumatising drama, I asked her to wait in the Lawyers waiting room and advised her I would send for her when need arose. She obliged.

Drama, often characterised Custody battle but never, even in my wildest imagination could I have anticipated the drama that played itself out on that day. The Marshal ushered the parties in. Tailing the Petitioner’s Counsel was the Petitioner herself. My heart missed a few beats. I prayed in vain that there be another Petitioner. I was lost for word. I only managed to nod as Counsel for either Party greeted me. I felt an unexpected heat wave hit my body and sweat cascaded down my forehead.
“Good afternoon Your Worship.” Doreen greeted me with a wry smile.
“Goo..od afternoon.” I responded….(To be continued).