By Fidelis Munyoro
Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Samuel Undenge on Monday had his application for discharge of maintenance of one of his two children allowed.
Deputy Minister Undenge has since 2005 been contributing towards the upkeep of his two children he sired with Angeline Munyeza-Undenge, paying $650 per month for both of them.
But on Tuesday he got the relief he sought when magistrate Mr Tafadzwa Mavhami granted the application and discharged one of the children, a girl, from maintenance on the basis that she has since turned 18, the legal age of majority.
The court noted that the elder child had to make her own maintenance claim or the mother could still make a fresh application on behalf of her on the basis that she was still depended and school going.
While Deputy Minister Undenge sought a discharge of the elder child from maintenance, his ex-wife made a counter application for an increase of the maintenance order granted in 2011 from $650 to $1 800 for the two children citing increasing costs of goods and services.
But the court after considering arguments by both parties’ lawyers allowed the application on one still under maintenance and increased the amount to $400 from the previous $325.
She argued that Deputy Minister Undenge was receiving a net salary of at least $5 000 since he is now working as a Government minister.
“In addition he receives non -taxable benefits in the form of car, fuel, housing, medical aid, domestic worker and hotel allowances among other several benefits that accrue to ministers of government,” said Ms Munyeza-Undenge.
She further told the court that Deputy Minister Undenge is the proprietor of Star Lotto with a lucrative and profitable business spread out across the breadth of Zimbabwe.
“He is also a farmer in Chimanimani where he is making huge profits from the proceeds of farming,” said Ms Munyeza-Undenge.
She said unlike in previous court hearings where Deputy Minister Undenge would plead poverty, he was now capable of paying ….$1 800 which included a holiday allowance of $250 per month.
Mr Farai Nyamayaro represented Deputy Minister Undenge while Mr Tazorora Musarurwa of Mambosasa Legal Practitioners acted for Ms Munyeza-Undenge.