Court News

‘Let’s share property we bought together’

CONSEQUENCES of cohabitation were revealed when a woman dragged her former lover to the Chawama Local Court for failing to share property they acquired together during their nine-year ‘marriage’.
Helen Banda, 25, told senior court magistrates Gaston Kalala and Mubukwanu Matakala that Wilson Chewe, 28, was refusing to equally share properties they acquired together with her financial contributions.
Banda told the court that they started cohabiting in 2005 and have two children together. But in September this year, she sued for divorce; a claim which was dismissed by the court because no bride price was paid.
She said the court however advised them to share the property after consultations with their families.
“I am only concerned about the house. In 2011, we bought a plot together after selling all our household property. He lost his job before we even started building. So I used proceeds from my business to finance the construction of our house up to roof level,” she said.
She said her in-laws provided money for the roofing of the house. She said after their separation, she approached Chewe on the way forward regarding the house.
“I suggested that we sell it and share the money but he has refused saying the house is for the children. Meanwhile, he is the only one benefiting from it because he is still living there. I also suggested that I move into the house since I am the one with the children but he refused yet he claims the house is meant to benefit our children,” she said.
But Chewe told the court that he was not prepared to move out or sell the house because the property is the only inheritance for the children.
He said Banda is free to get anything she wants but not the house.
Passing judgment, the court noted that the housing project was like a business transaction between two people. The court then ordered that the two to sell the house and share proceeds equally.

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