Kay Kaseke Sunday News Reporter
A BULAWAYO man last week stunned the court when he refused to pay maintenance claiming that he fled his matrimonial home because his wife bashed him everyday.
Justice Rupanga from Magwegwe accused his estranged wife Phidelia Rukato, who had dragged to him to the maintenance court over the upkeep of their two children, of being violent.
“I could not bear the torture in the hands of my wife. Each time we had an argument or differences she over powered me and beat me up,” said Rupanga.
Rupanga, who is employed at a lodge in Victoria Falls, said he was now based in the resort town since he could not stay with his wife.
“I am now based in Victoria Falls because I cannot stay with her anymore. I have reported her to the police on two occasions because she is very abusive,” he said bitterly.
He accused Rukato of being dishonest to the courts after she claimed she could not afford to take care of the children.
“She has the audacity to ask for money after what she did to me and now I am forced to maintain her. She can afford to take care of the family so she should also take responsibility and contribute to the upkeep of the children,” he said.
Rukato, who could not refute her husband’s accusations, demanded $800 for the upkeep of their children.
“He abandoned us and left for Victoria Falls. He has to give me money for maintenance because I cannot struggle with the children while he is employed and earning a good salary,” she said.
She accused her husband of forcing her to drop her studies.
“He forced me to drop my studies because he claimed that he could not afford to pay for my studies. Now that he has abandoned us he needs to pay for rentals and our children’s school fees,” she added.
The magistrate, Mr Victor Mpofu, advised the two to solve their issues amicably.
“You should solve your differences rather than resorting to violence. Rupanga the court orders you to pay $170 as maintenance for the upkeep of your children with effect from April month end,” he said.