Woman drags 2 men to court over child upkeep

Judge Mallet; Hammer
Judge Mallet; Hammer

A Harare woman is claiming maintenance from two men with whom she sired several children.

Alice Mbiriri is claiming $150 per month from Joseph Mubaiwa for the upkeep of their three children.

The other man, Paul Chiseko, did not turn up on Thursday and Harare magistrate Ms Yeukai Dzuda instructed Mbiriri to serve him with the summons.

It was not disclosed how many children Mbiriri had with Chiseko and how much she wanted.

Mubaiwa, a security guard, however, offered $70 per month for all the three children saying he earns only $245 per month and was also married.

“I earn just $245 per month and I have other important commitments not mentioning that I am also married to another wife with other minor children to look after,” he said.

Mbiriri then down-scaled her demands to $120 but Mubaiwa insisted it was still beyond his means.

“The amount is still too much for me Your Worship. I am supposed to pay rentals and bills where my family lives.

“I still can’t afford that much. This woman is supposed to pay something towards the upkeep of the children since we are both their parents.

“She can’t just relax and fold her hands thinking that it is my sole responsibility to fend for the children,” he said.

Mbiriri remained adamant and demanded that she be compensated for all what she did for the children while Mubaiwa was not around.

“I want this man to pay all arrears that I have incurred in my desperate bid to address their needs.

“This man is the father and he is supposed to play his prescribed role. I cannot be a mother and a father at the same time.

“I want the $120 that I am demanding,” she said.

Mubaiwa was ordered to pay $90 per month starting May 30.

Meanwhile, a Harare woman last Thursday wept in court and pursued her ex-husband outside, where she clapped and kicked him after a magistrate had ruled that she be given $35 per month for the upkeep of her 12-year old child.

She was only restrained from further attacking the man by a police officer.

Tendai Mashiri, a vendor in Budiriro, was claiming $150 from Tedious Zinyakatira as maintenance for the child. The man, however, offered to pay $30 saying he was yet to recover from the 2015 inferno that destroyed his workshop in Glen View.

Zinyakatira is also married to another woman and they have three children of school-going age.

“Your Worship, I used to operate a carpentry workshop at Glen View complex.

“Things used to work out well and that is the reason why this woman never approached the courts for maintenance because I used to take care of the child well.

“However, the workshop was reduced to ashes in an inferno late last year so I am now struggling to put food on the table. I am surviving on repairing other people’s furniture. I can’t afford the $150,” he said.

Mashiri dismissed the offer and said her child has since dropped out of school due to non-payment of school fees.

“This man is a fool. He has neglected his child while he is enjoying with other people.It is not fair at all. He should part with $150 per month.

“He is pretending to be poor before this honourable court yet he is actually well up,” she said.

As magistrate Ms Yeukai Dzuda ordered Zinyakatira to pay $35 per month towards the child’s upkeep, Mashiri wept and attempted to poke her ex-husband saying the money was not enough.

In yet another case, a Harare polygamist has pulled out his five children from school in revenge after his first wife withdrew them from their rural home.

All the five have not attended school since January this year.

The man, Trevor Muchenje, on Wednesday appeared before the Harare Civil Court magistrate where his first wife, Rwadziso Muchenje, is claiming $300 for the upkeep of the five.

Muchenje is, however, offering $40 per month and said he will only pay for their school fees if the children return to the rural areas since he cannot afford to send them to an urban school.

“Your Worship, this woman is the one who withdrew my children from our rural area where they used to learn. I am only prepared to pay $40 for their upkeep and will always pay for their school fees if they return to the school, which they used to attend.

“After all, I am a polygamist. My younger wife has a kid and they all need my attention. For this woman to ask for such an amount from a polygamist is ridiculous, to say the least,” he said.

Machinya, who often came close to tears while giving her side, however, insisted on the $300 figure.

“This man has made my children drop out of school while he is enjoying all the luxuries with his second wife. I have already put into consideration the fact that he is a polygamist and has the sixth child with his second wife. But, my children are not going to school.

“They need shelter, food and school fees, so he should also consider that,” she said.

The children are aged 12, nine, seven, five and three.

The case was deferred to a later date.