Court News

Cohabiting children worry court

By KAPALA CHISUNKA
THE Chawama local court says increased cohabitation among children is mostly encouraged by their parents.
Senior court magistrates Mubukwano Matakala and Gaston Kalala say forcing children into cohabitation, in the name of marriage even when no bride price is paid, is not helping the young ones.
“This trend of encouraging your children to cohabit has to stop because for as long as no bride price has been paid and the two families have not consented; then it is not marriage. Not even pregnancy should compel you as parents to force your children into cohabitation and then call that marriage. You are wasting these children’s lives,” magistrate Matakala said.
This was in a case in which Enika Kaunda, 21, of Chawama township sued her husband Abinala Sakala, 24, of the same township for divorce. The two, who got married in 2011, have no child together and Sakala did not pay the bride price.
In her statement, Kaunda told the court that the couple’s honeymoon was short-lived as Sakala started mistreating her and finding fault in everything she did.
“He stopped being responsible and providing for me. When it became too much, I told his relatives who counselled us. A week after the meeting, he seemed to have become a good husband but that did not last as he went back to his old ways,” he said.
She told the court that the situation worsened when Sakala started physically abusing her. She said she reported the matter to both families and another meeting was later called.
“At the meeting, he told our families that he no longer loved me and was not interested in the marriage. I left his house with only my clothes and two speakers from the radio we bought together. Now he seems to find pleasure in hurling insults at me each time he sees me,” she said.
In his statement, Sakala said Kaunda was not a good wife as she never prepared food for him on time or did his laundry. He told the court that she also had the habit of demanding money even when there was food at home.
“I usually gave her a K10 to buy food when there was none but she could demand for more. Why would I give her a K50 for food when we were just two at home? As far as I am concerned, we are no longer married because I do not even love her,” he said.
Passing judgment, the court dismissed the claim saying no bride price was paid.
“You were just cohabiting, there was no marriage. If he had paid the bride price, we would have recognised this union and he would have compensated you for the years you stayed together and performed duties of a wife,” magistrate Matakala ruled.

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