Court News

Magistrates counsel cohabiting couple

By NKOLE NKOLE
AFTER being a constant target of her husband’s punches, a Lusaka woman decided she had had enough and sued her husband for divorce.
Giving her statement before magistrates Hope Mwila and Brenda Zulu in the Chelstone Local Court, Pricilla Chizungu, 25, of Ng’ombe township said she only enjoyed a year of peace whilst living with her husband, Evans Zulu, 29.
The pair have two children together and were married in 2007.
“He beats me too much and this is why I want to divorce him,” Chizungu said. “I started work as a maid and sometimes I leave late and he beats me as a result.”
Chizungu said Zulu had called her a liar each time she got home late from work and accused her of sleeping with other men.
She shared that earlier this year she was forced to report Zulu to the Victim Support Unit after he had beaten her badly.
Last month, after another punching episode, Chizungu was left with a black eye and had to be treated at a clinic.
“There was a time last year when he even pointed a knife at me but my younger sister grabbed it,” Chizungu said.
When she finally got a court summons requesting Zulu to appear in court, he told her he would kill her and out of fear, Chizungu left their home for her sister’s place.
Zulu said problems between him and Chizungu started when she got a job and refused to tell him why she was getting home late.
He said Chizungu had at one point even burnt some of his clothes and was the one who had pointed a knife at him.
Most recently, Zulu said Chizungu had returned home from a funeral with a new phone and he wondered who ever acquired a new phone at a funeral.
However, after establishing that Zulu had paid no dowry for Chizungu, the court told her not to refer to him as her husband as they were not legally married.
The court dismissed the claim as the couple was not married but only cohabiting. Chizungu and Zulu’s families were told to give correct advice as marriage was not something to be played with.
Zulu was also charged for hurting Chizungu during a recent fight and ordered to pay her K150 for six months.
Chizungu was advised by the court to sue Zulu for child maintenance instead.

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