Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
A Gwanda granny has dragged her ex-son-in-law to court over maintenance of his 16-year-old daughter.
Ms Elizabeth Ndlovu of Manama area told Gwanda magistrate, Miss Nomagugu Ncube that Themba Sijiye of the same area was not contributing anything towards his daughter’s education, food, clothing or upkeep.
She said she was the one looking after the child as her daughter was visually impaired and dumb. She said she expected Sijiye to pay $60 towards the child’s upkeep every month.
Ms Ndlovu said her grandchild had school fees arrears amounting to $166. She said Sijiye was not willing to pay the money. She said her ex-son-in-law was a builder and he could afford to pay maintenance of $60.
In response Sijiye said he could not afford to pay $60 maintenance or state how much he could pay as he relied on temporary jobs to earn a living.
“I can’t afford to pay $60 maintenance and I don’t know how much I can afford because I am unemployed. I rely on temporary jobs and at the same time I am a TB patient so when it is cold I can’t work.
“I have four other children to look after and I am struggling to put food on the table because piece jobs are hard to come by. Besides it is not true that I haven’t been looking after my daughter because I pay her school fees and buy her uniforms,” he said.
Sijiye said his daughter had accumulated school fees arrears because his ex-mother-in-law was denying him an opportunity to be part of his daughter’s life.
He said initially when his daughter was born his in-laws lied to him by claiming that he was not the biological father.
The magistrate however, ordered Sijiye to pay a $30 maintenance fee. She said unemployment was not an excuse for Sijiye to evade paying maintenance. She instructed him to find means to support his child.