Woman arrested for defaulting on maintenance

BULAWAYO - A woman who was last year dragged to the maintenance court by her estranged husband claiming $200 maintenance fee for the upkeep of their three children is back in the dock after she was nabbed for defaulting.

Charity Chitsa, 30, appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Abednico Ndebele facing charges of failing to comply with the maintenance order as defined in section 23 (1) of the Maintenance Act Chapter 509.

Calisto Mapfumo of 19 Kinmont Avenue, Barham Green chased away his wife, Chitsa in February last year after she had abandoned her family for about eight months.

It later emerged that she had gone to her rural home where she was now staying.

When Chitsa later moved back to the city and got employed, Mapfumo got the news and approached her but efforts to win her love back were fruitless forcing him to approach the court for maintenance.

The court, however, ruled in Mapfumo’s favour ordering Chitsa to pay $60 per month from November last year for the welfare of the three children till each child turns 18 or until the complainant applies for variation.

But Chitsa failed to do so for three months leading to a warrant of arrest being issued against her.

According to the court papers Chitsa is now $180 in arrears.

Chitsa pleaded guilty to the charge.

When magistrate Ndebele asked why she defaulted on the payment meant for the upkeep of her own children, Chitsa defended herself.

“The company I used to work for was closed and I wrote three affidavits to that effect on December 12. I was advised that I was no longer going to pay anything,” she told the court.

However, magistrate Ndebele said: “In view of the explanation given the plea is altered to that of not guilty and the matter will go for trial.”

Chitsa was remanded out of custody to February 27.

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