By Angeline Mpofu
The father of a 14-year-old Bulawayo boy refused to pay fees for his son on Wednesday, telling a stunned court: “He’s a rapist and dull in class. I see no reason why he should go to school.”
Joel Sibanda, of Lobengula suburb, blasted his wife in court and described his son as a “nuisance” who does not deserve his support.
“The boy that she wants to send to school raped my brother’s child,” Sibanda, a soldier, said. “He’s dull and got 36 units at Grade 7. So why should we send him to school?”
Magistrate Victor Mpofu heard that the boy was yet to go to Form 1 as his father refused to render any support for his education. Sibanda said he has three more children with different women who also needed to be taken care of.
“I get $229 per month after loan deductions, which is not enough because I have three more children to take care of,” he said.
His wife, Sibonginkosi Mthimkhulu, said: “When he learnt that our child had raped his uncle’s daughter, he stopped paying fees for him and instead, bought him shooters (boots) to play football.
“He has been failing to take care of our child for the past seven years. I’ve been struggling to send the boy to school ever since he left me for other women.”
Mthimkhulu, who had difficulty walking, demanded $150 for maintenance saying she was not able to work as she was ill. “My body is weak. There’s nothing I can do for a living,” she said.
Mpofu ordered Sibanda to pay her $50 per month but Mthimkhulu broke into tears after the ruling.
“$50 is not enough, please make it $150 so that I can manage to care for his child,” she begged the magistrate, sobbing.
Mpofu told her: “There’s nothing I can do because we have to consider that Sibanda has three more children to take care of. In as much as your child has a right to maintenance, the other children also have a right therefore we have to leave a share for them.” The Chronicle