Court News

Text message prompts DNA test

By NOMSA NKANA
A TEXT message suspected to be intended for a lover but accidentally sent to a fiancé has cast doubts of paternity of a child the latter has with his fiancée causing the man to break off the relationship and demand for a DNA test.
Phillip Chitalu of Lusaka told the Matero Local Court that he received a strange text message saying, “Hie, sorry to call you at this time. I guess you are with your wife. I don’t want to disturb you but I need to talk to you about what happened after what we did that night.”
Chitalu said this was after his fiancée told him she would be attending a night party.
He said some months later, she told him she was pregnant.
In a case where David Tembo, 46, of Matero sued Chitalu, 30, for damage resulting in pregnancy, the former accused the latter of denying responsibility for impregnating his sister.
But Chitalu said he will only take responsibility if a DNA test proves he is the father of the child who is now seven months old.
Tembo said in 2012, his sister told him a man (Chitalu) who wanted to marry her would soon approach him to ask for her hand in marriage but he never showed up only for her to tell him in June of the same year that she was two months pregnant.
“When I rang Chitalu and introduced myself, he gave the phone to someone he was with pretending he (Chitalu) could not speak because he was driving. I sent him a text to gather his relatives so we could discuss my sister’s pregnancy,” he said.
According to Tembo, when the two families met, Chitalu accepted responsibility after which he paid K50 as agreement that he had sex with his fiancée.
Tembo also said Chitalu even cheated his sister that he would marry her only for him to later request his sister to go for a DNA test with him to prove if he was the father of the child.
And in his statement, Chitalu said a number of issues his fiancée had done had made him begin to doubt if he was the father of the child.
He said one night in 2012; his fiancée told him she was going to a party.
To his bewilderment he said, he received a strange text message from his fiancée’s number reading, “Hie, sorry to call you at this time. I guess you are with your wife. I don’t want to disturb you but I need to talk to you about what happened after what we did that night”.
Chitalu said when he asked her about the text message; she claimed it was meant for a certain man she had done some business with.
He said another cause of doubt was when his fiancée told him she had a problem with her fallopian tubes adding that he then insisted on taking her to the hospital.
“The doctor told me her condition could only be caused by two things, STI’s and abortion. I agree I had been having sex with her but after she fell pregnant she was scanned but her pregnancy didn’t correspond with the time we had sex. Instead the dates the doctor gave us corresponded with the period she delivered,” he said.
Chitalu said that was why he demanded for a DNA test but she refused saying she wasn’t ready.
In passing judgment, Justice Lewis Mumba upheld claim of damage resulting in pregnancy and ordered paternity test to be done.
He also ordered Chitalu to compensate Tembo with K3,500 for damage resulting in pregnancy.

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