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You have no right over children, court tells man

THE Garneton Local Court has told a man of Twatasha township in Kitwe that he does not have any claim of right over the five children he bore with a woman he lived with for 14 years because he did not pay any dowry.
Delivering judgment in a matter in which Godfrey Mwamba sued his ‘wife’ Getrude Nakaonga for divorce, Garneton Local Court magistrate Frederick Ndhlovu ruled that according to Zambian tradition and culture, there was no marriage between the two parties because the man never paid any dowry to the woman’s family.
Magistrate Ndhlovu said it was sad that people nowadays were not adhering to cultural norms on marriage and were thinking matrimony was child’s play.
“This is not Christmas my friend. You cannot live with someone’s daughter for 14 years and give her five children without paying a single ngwee to her family, only for you to come here to tell us that you are tired of her and you do not want her anymore,” he said.
Magistrate Ndhlovu also ordered Mwamba to compensate Nakaonga with K5,000 in monthly instalments of K500 with effect from this month-end.
He ordered that the couple’s five children will be in the custody of their maternal grandparents in Mpika because Mwamba had no right over them.
Magistrate Ndhlovu also ordered Mwamba to retrieve two of his children that are reportedly with his parents in Kapiri Mposhi because they are not supposed to be there since he did not pay anything to their mother’s family.
“You did not even care about paying because you thought this woman will not benefit anything from you. That is not how it is supposed to be. We ought to be serious with the way we do things. We have customs in this country,” he said.
Earlier Mwamba told the court that he wanted to divorce Nakaonga because she had no respect for him as the head of the house and was in the habit of denying him conjugal rights.
He said Nakaonga did not love him and that recently, she boasted that she had a boyfriend.
But Nakaonga denied Mwamba’s accusations, saying that he was in the habit of taking their marital problems outside to whoever could entertain him.
Nakaonga said she had suffered verbal abuse at the hands, of Mwamba who always referred to her as a prostitute whenever the couple had a difference.