A WOMAN of Lusaka’s Chaisa Township has told the Matero local court that on some days she refused to give her husband food because of his alleged failure to provide for the family.
Evelyn Mwamba said as far as she was aware, a man was supposed to be a bread-winner, not the other way round, hence whatever she found was for the children and not for her husband.
This is a case in which Mwamba sued Charles Makasa for divorce after the two failed to resolve their marital disputes.
The couple, who could not give their ages, married in 1995 and has five children, although problems emerged in their marriage in 2001 when Makasa allegedly started spending nights out.
Mwamba told the court that she was eating with her children in the presence of Makasa because he had a habit of deserting home every time he had money.
She said she struggled alone to fend for the children even when her husband was around and she had no regret stinging her husband every time she found food.
Apparently, one of the children passed grade nine examinations but could not proceed to grade 10 because the father could not look for money.
Mwamba said whenever her husband got paid he used to disappear from home and lied to her that he was sent to work out of town.
“I look for food to feed my children, not an elderly person who spends his money on other women,” Mwamba said. “This man has impregnated another woman although he is refusing.”
But Makasa said he was not ready to divorce his wife because he still loved her, and for the sake of the children.
He said he at times deserted home because his wife used to stinge him food and he was scared that he could die of hunger.
Makasa said his wife had been wrongly accusing him of spending his money on women every time he was broke.
The defendant said that there was no other person who could take care of his two children if the court granted divorce because they were suffering from epilepsy.
“Two (of my) children have epilepsy, hence I am sure that I am the only person who can take good care of them,” he said.
But magistrate Petronella Kalyelye, sitting with Lewis Mumba, dissolved the marriage and ordered Makasa to compensate his wife with K8,000.
By SARAH MWANZA – Times