A Bulawayo woman was stunned after her husband of 17 years allegedly disowned her in front of a magistrate.
Lydia Makeredza was left speechless after her husband, Solomon Mbuisa, revealed the divorce she never knew about.
This happened at the Bulawayo Maintenance Court where Makeredza was demanding maintenance from Mbuisa accusing him of having failed or neglected to look after her and their four children.
Mbuisa who owns a 32-seater minibus and a shop that sells auto-electrical parts is also self-employed as a diesel plant fitter.
In her suit papers she filed under case number M1166/ 17, Makeredza begged the court to compel him to provide reasonable support towards his family’s upkeep.
“I am customarily married to the respondent (Mbuisa) for 17 years and the marriage still subsists. I am seeking maintenance from him in terms of Maintenance Act (Chapter 5:09) to cover groceries, clothing, rent among other expenses.
“The respondent is self-employed as a diesel plant fitter, also owns a 32-seater minibus and a shop that sells auto-electrical parts is legally liable to maintain me and our four children and I wish to claim a monthly maintenance of $1 075,” reads part of her submissions.
Makeredza said she could not afford to look after their children alone since she was not employed. She also indicated to the court that her husband was in the habit of locking them out of the house.
Responding to Makeredza’s submissions, Mbuisa denied the existence of a union between him and the latter. He said their customary marriage was dissolved long ago due to irreconcilable differences.
“She is no longer my wife. We used to be customarily married but the marriage was dissolved some time ago,” said Mbuisa before he told presiding magistrate Tinashe Tashaya that he was able to pay a monthly maintenance of $200 towards the upkeep of his four children.
He said he was realising about $683 per month against the $2000 which had been stated by Makeredza saying he was a man of means and was legally liable to pay $1 075 she was claiming.
In his ruling the magistrate, however, ordered Mbuisa to pay $400 as monthly maintenance for his four children aged 16, 13, five and a year and three months old.