Columnists Features

Rewarding adultery: Readers speak out

FOR the last two Sundays I have been writing about the injustice we the men are being subjected to by some of the decisions coming out of the local courts when dealing with marital disputes.
I have been receiving reactions from you, the readers, in which you have been expressing your views on the issue.
Today, I have dedicated all the space in this column to your comments.
Below are your comments:
Hi Charles,
Your story in today’s Sunday Mail is just another example of how absurd and broken our judicial system is as applied to a large number of situations in Zambia.
Even in ancient judicial situations as, for example, illustrated in the Bible, adultery is the one justifiable cause for divorce, for which compensation can never be expected.
The decisions rendered by the presiding officers of our lower courts and indeed a number of higher courts as well boggle the mind sometimes, leaving ‘Lady Justice’ in tears.
Please, keep us updated on how this miscarriage of justice pans out.
Lube Samson Mukando, Kitwe.
Mr Chisala,
I think the local courts make decisions based on the merits and demerits of the case.
Where they feel that the woman does not deserve compensation they do not order the husband to pay her.
The problem is that most women are economically disadvantaged, which makes it very difficult for them to make ends meet after being divorced because they depend on their husbands for their sustenance.
Their husbands are their breadwinners.
Maybe this is what the courts look at when ordering that the couple share the property equally and that the man compensates his wife when it dissolves their marriage.
I think it depends on the circumstances and the evidence before the court.
Corruption has also been playing a hand. We cannot rule it out.
Dear Charles,
It’s really shocking, the judgments delivered by courts in Zambia.
Up to now, my friend has failed to divorce his adulterous wife because of the unfair judgments from these courts.
Such immoral characters are supposed to be punished by not rewarding them with shares of the family estate or maintenance.
Some are being encouraged by friends or their boyfriends that even if you are divorced, you will be compensated handsomely and you will not suffer.
My friend still leads a life of matrimonial slavery because of this same nonsense.
He has two houses and two cars and when he consulted was told to share all equally, this still pains him.
What can men in such situation do? Can’t they resort to dangerous, life-threatening measures?
It sounds easy when it is other people affected. But if it’s you involved, you grow thin from depression.
I have seen it with my friend.
How can one reward a prostitute or adulterous wife with compensation and half of the family estate? A dishonest person? These are wives who end up killing their husbands.
Equally, even men who lead this kind of life should not be rewarded.
Kindly talk more on this issue until it catches the eyes of our law-makers.
Mr Chisala,
I am with you 100 percent on this one. Adultery must get punished and not rewarded.
Arman Hazarika, Lusaka.
Dear Mr Chisala,
I have just finished reading your column in the Sunday Mail, and I am grateful that you have courageously raised this issue.
We men have indeed become an endangered species because of our country’s archaic dual legal system which gives the local courts the powers to make decisions that are not backed by any written statute.
Some women are becoming bigheaded because of the over-protection they are receiving from the local courts.
When they misbehave they are not bothered by the possibility of their husbands suing them for divorce because they know that they will get away with half of the family property and compensation on top of that in most cases.
This overprotection the courts are giving adulterous women is actually working against the intended beneficiaries.
A man who is trapped in a marriage like that, who is afraid of divorcing his promiscuous wife for fear of losing half of his estate and compensating her on top of that may reach a point at which he may lose self-control and do something nasty.
This is fuelling gender-based violence. The aggrieved man may resort to violence as the only means of expressing his displeasure at his wife’s infidelity.
Richard, Ndola.
Ba Charles,
Kwena mwatwebelapo fwe banakashi (you have really exposed us, women).
What you wrote is to a large extend true. I have a friend who has been cheating on her husband with impunity for a few months now.
The man is aware of her sexual affairs with other men, but is afraid of suing her because she boasts that if he divorces her she will go with two of their four motor vehicles, one of their two houses and half of the money in the family account besides compensating her.
When I try to reason with her that what she is doing is dangerous, she boasts that her husband wouldn’t even think about divorcing her because he knows how he will make her rich in court.
I have, however, warned her that it is not only divorce she should be worried about but also what the man may do one day.
I doff my hat to you all. The debate is still on. If you have views on the matter do not hesitate to write to the e-mail address at the foot of this column.

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