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Marriages teetering on brink of divorce

NOTHING stunned me more at the beginning of the year 2022 than news that Zambia recorded over 22,000 divorce cases in the previous year 2021. Imagine 44,000 mothers-in-law being affected by such actions if we were to consider that they were all alive at the time the divorces were granted. It was disconcerting to learn about these statistics especially that many young people were making resolutions to get married.  No-one thought that while it was expected that couples would be cementing their relationships during COVID-19 restrictions, many would be throwing away their wedding rings. According to court records availed to Zambia Daily Mail in January last year, the shortest marriage that ended in divorce lasted 30 days, while the longest was 65 years. The reasons advanced by couples to end their marriages were lack of conjugal rights, adultery, gender-based violence (GBV), insults and cruelty. That’s a lot of reasons for couples to part ways but you would agree with me that the first one is the main cause. Many couples in the hood complain about lack of conjugal rights at a certain stage of their marriages although they continue living together for the sake of their children. I am sure you have heard some married women saying: “ninkhalila chabe bana muchikwati (I am still in the marriage for the sake of children).”  On the other hand, you would hear those without children saying: “ninkhalila chabe chamene icho (I am still in the marriage for the sake of it).” This is where you find that some married men receive free condoms at clinics or Society for Family Planning to practise safe sex in marriage but they do not use them. Of course this is not like obtaining money by false pretences. By nature a man always wants to be part of anything that relates to sexual benefits. This is so true. A widower in the hood would still scramble for free condoms barely two days after the burial of his wife when he knows he cannot have sex with any other woman yet until he is cleansed by relatives of his late spouse. It’s all about the instinct of not wanting to be denied one’s conjugal rights. Actually, in some marriages, couples can spend five years without conjugal rights while pretending things are okay. You would hear a woman saying in court: “Ine bamuna banga sibanigona, chino chaka nichachitatu (My husband does not sleep with me, this is the third year now).” But thank God 2022 did not experience too many divorce cases except that ex-convict Keith Mukata divorced his wife after being pardoned by the President to marry long-time girlfriend Sharmain Musonda. Theirs was marriage at second sight especially that the two had been love birds before the lawyer and former lawmaker was convicted of murder then lost touch of Sharmain. This is what we call a perfect example of a former inmate being reintegrated back into society without facing discrimination from the community. At least he kept his virility intact despite being subjected to hard labour at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in Kabwe. In fact his former wife had revealed in court that she had never denied him his conjugal rights because authorities at the correctional facility at times gave them a chance to make a roll in the hay in the officer-in-charge’s office each time she visited him. Well I guess you are wondering now what else could have made Keith Mukata and his wife, Maricoh Hoare, to divorce especially that there was no chance for them to engage in gender-based violence or insults while he was in prison. In her petition to the High Court, his wife, Maricoh, claimed that the marriage had broken down irretrievably because since he was pardoned by then President Edgar Lungu in August 2021, he had deserted their matrimonial home and never returned to reunite with her and the children. Anyway, enough of Keith Mukata’s love life. The year 2022 also saw musician Yo Maps getting married to Kidist in April although since then she has spent more time on social media than in the kitchen. I bet family members and his fans at large have to forgive her because she has to defend her husband from enemies of progress through social media at all times. His former girlfriend, Mwizukanji, also made the most of social media making people speculate over her pictures where she was seen posing with different men including Yo Map’s rival, Chile One, who bagged nearly all local music awards last year. You can say love was in the air for Mwizukanji as well, but only she herself knows the truth about the man in her life now. Last year the country also joined in the celebrations of B-Flow’s marriage with long time girlfriend. However, although the courts are yet to release statistics for 2022 divorce cases, it is an open secret that Diamond TV presenter and lead actress in a local drama series called Ubuntu Chichi Daisy Lupupa’s divorce with her husband, Hanamwanza, will be part of the statistics after just one year in marriage. Chichi told netizens that she did not owe anyone an apology for the divorce. Well, life must go on this year despite our varied reasons for staying in marriage or calling it quits.,