Man fails to enroll 12 year old in school, says my child is too young

Lusaka High Court

A MAN of Kitwe has been denied custody of his 12-year-old daughter for allegedly neglecting her.
Local court magistrate Elizabeth Banda denied Geoffrey Chulu, custody of his daughter on grounds that the court respects the decision and interest of the child to continue being under her mother’s custody.
When magistrate Banda asked the child who she wanted to be living with, the child chose her mother.
“I want to be living with my mother because when I lived with father for two years, he did not take me to school. So even if I start living with him he will not take me to school,” the child narrated before Kitwe’s Buchi Local Court.
This was in a case in which Geoffrey Chulu, 45, of Ndeke Township sued Maggie Mwape, 35, for child custody.
Chulu said he took custody of the child when she was eight years old and lived with her for two years but he did not enrol her in school because schools were very far from his house and that he feared that the child could be bashed by a motor vehicle.
“My child was too young and I did not enrol her at school because I wanted her to grow up first and later take her to school,” he said.
Chulu told the court that while the child lived with him, Mwape took her without his permission hence dragging her to court to grant him custody of the child.
And Mwape said she discovered that her child was not going to school.
She told the court that whilst her child lived with the father, he stopped taking her calls and that after two years, she looked for him and found him.
Passing judgment, the court said Chulu deprived the child of her right to education, adding that children younger than her are taken to school.
“The child has the right to choose where to live. If I grant you permission to keep the child, your wife might end up not liking her own child. The child may end up finding refugee on the streets,” she said.
Chulu was ordered to be paying child maintenance fee of K500 each month and provide the child with all her daily needs.