By Gibson Mhaka
A Bulawayo man was mercilessly thrashed by his in-laws before they took away his wife and three children because he had not paid lobola.
As if the accusations that he was enjoying their daughter’s affection without giving them their dues as an appreciation for raising a woman who bore him three children was not enough, Hlebiso Ndhlovu from Northvale suburb was also accused of infecting his wife Patience Zifodya with a sexually transmitted infection (STIs).
This emerged at the Bulawayo Civil Court where Ndhlovu was suing his mother-in-law, Lorinah Zifodya from Queens Park West for disturbing his peace by constantly harassing him over unpaid lobola and infecting their daughter with an STI.
He said his in-laws turned him into a subject of ridicule when they attacked him in full view of police officers, who instead of rescuing him, laughed at him.
“I am applying for a protection order against Lorinah Zifodya who is my mother-in-law. She is violent against me, my children and wife. On 6 October last year she came to my house and took my wife and three children because I had not paid lobola.
“She teamed up with her husband Richard Zifodya and assaulted me at the police station. While assaulting me my mother-in-law was shouting on top of her voice accusing me of not paying lobola and infecting her daughter with an STI. This was because I had demanded that my wife and children should come and stay with me,” complained Ndhlovu.
He said his mother-in-law was also coming to his place threatening him with an unspecified action. He insisted that his in-laws should not refuse to recognise him as their son-in-law.
“I didn’t refuse to pay lobola, but it is my belief that the issue should be negotiated amicably. For the past 10 years I had been married to their daughter I wanted to pay lobola, but I’m no longer trusting them because of the harassment they subjected me to when my firstborn child passed on in August 2011,” said Ndhlovu.
In her response through her lawyer, the mother-in-law vehemently denied all the allegations levelled against her.
“Each and every allegation made thereon is vehemently denied. I never at any point physically and emotionally abused him, his wife and children. The application is intended in abusing the State’s limited resources in settling his personal vendetta.
“The applicant and his wife are not in good books. Last year applicant was claiming custody of the children and his application was dismissed. Averments sought by the applicant does not tally with the relief being sought.
“He just wants custody of the minor children and he should prove the existence of any form of violence and repeated acts of emotional violence. The lack of the necessary averments means applicant is not entitled to the relief that he seeks,” responded Lorinah through her lawyer.
She said Ndhlovu has been a very irresponsible father as he was squandering his income on his own while neglecting his minor children.
In her judgment presiding magistrate Nkosinomusa Ncube ruled: “Applicant’s application falls out of the armbit of a protection order, but is instead actually an application for custody. He is advised to approach the Juvenile Court which is specifically structured and sensitive to issues relating to children and it has the jurisdiction to order who will be the custodian of the children”.
The magistrate subsequently dismissed Ndhlovu’s application. B Metro