“We might kill each other if we continue with this marriage”

Judge Mallet; Hammer
Judge Mallet; Hammer

A 44-year-old man caused laughter in a Local Court in Lusaka when he said he resorted to womanizing because he did not know what his wife did to become HIV positive.
Mulemwa Mbumwanye of old Kanyama compound who was finally divorced was testifying in a case in which his wife, Mwangana Itwi, 24, sued him for divorce.
The two got married in 2000 and have three children. Dowry was paid.
Itwi told Senior Court Magistrate Daniel Phiri sitting with Magistrate Ackim Phiri at Kanyama Local Court that five months ago the couple was in the same court for reconciliation because Mbumwanye was not showing her his salary.
Itwi said she had been unwell but Mbumwanye kept coming home around 23.00 hours from his drinking sprees.


She further said that Mbumwanye took her to his doctor who did not give her any medicine and that when she was eight months pregnant he refused to accompany her to the hospital for a medical check-up.
“I was found HIV positive but Mbumwanye doesn’t want to be treated. He only had one injection for syphilis. How can I stay with such a person? He has even failed to take our two children to school because of beer and womanizing,” Itwi said.
In cross-examination, Itwi said that although Mbumwanye bought food for the family, she has been seeing his salary.
In defence, Mbumwanye said Itwi wanted to behave like a man in the house and was short tempered, adding that it was the reason he was running away to avoid GBV.
He explained that Itwi did not like his relatives and that she ‘made noise’ even when there were visitors.
Mbumwanye said he did know anything about Itwi’s HIV status because she was always leaving home for Sesheke.
He said he did not know what she was doing in Sesheke but he admitted womanizing while his wife was away.
Asked by the court if he could stay with Itwi, Mbumwanye said that he could not because she was short-tempered and feared they might kill each other.
Magistrate Daniel Phiri said that problems started a long time ago because the couple was in court for reconciliation.
He granted the couple divorce ordering Mbumwanye to compensate Itwi with K8000 with initial payment of K1000 followed by monthly instalments of K250. Property acquired together to be shared equally.