Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Magistrate reduces ‘too much’ maintenance

By Lisa Mangena

A police officer from Bulawayo heaved a sigh of relief after a maintenance court magistrate told his estranged wife that the nearly $600 she was claiming for child upkeep and spousal maintenance was too much.

Mrs Rasanai Chatukuta was demanding $200 for spousal maintenance and $390 for the upkeep of one minor child from Mr AIbert Chatukuta.

She said when they separated, Mr Chatukuta left her in debt and she needed money to clear the debts and also be able to provide for their child.

“I recently got a letter from the city council informing me that l had some water arrears that had to be cleared and as a vendor l can’t raise enough money to clear the bills. I also need money to pay my own school fees as well,” she said.

The magistrate, Ms Ulukile Mlea asked Mrs Chatukuta to break down the $590 she was claiming.

“I said before l need $200 for my upkeep and the remaining balance will cater for the children,” said Mrs Chatukuta.

Ms Mlea told her that she was claiming a large sum of money yet she could not clarify to the court what she wanted to use that money for.

Mr Chatukuta said that he could not afford all the money Mrs Chatukuta was claiming.

“I’m a mere police officer, I don’t earn a lot and besides l have responsibilities too. My mother is a cancer patient and l pay for her medication, I pay my own rentals and transport costs; at the end of the day I take home $341.

“Your honour, she lives in our matrimonial home and yet she wants so much money, I don’t understand what the money is for because l have been doing my duties as a father to my children,” he said.

“She is talking of water debts, last month she withdrew all my money from the bank and l wonder what she used it for if she did not pay the water bills.”

Mrs Chatukuta confirmed that she withdrew all his money but defended the decision.

The magistrate ordered Mr Chatukuta to pay $160 of which $110 will be for child upkeep and $50 for spousal maintenance. The Chronicle