Businessman ordered to pay $560 child support

HARAARE - A Harare Civil Court has ordered businessman and mining tycoon Petros Chaponda to pay $560 as maintenance for his minor child.

Chaponda, the court heard, owns a gold mine in Shamva, a diamond mine in Chiadzwa, a manufacturing company in Graniteside called Euromoz, a panel beating company in Chitungwiza and a farm.

He is also a director of a branding company called Harmony Brands Zimbabwe.

Tessie Billie, Chaponda’s ex-girlfriend, had demanded $1 600 in child support, saying Chaponda had the means to pay the amount as he owns a fleet of top-of-the-range vehicles worth over $250 000, including a Mercedes Benz and a Toyota Hilux, but was neglecting his child.

Billie also accused her former boyfriend of lying about his marriage status. She said she only discovered that Chaponda was married after giving birth.

In her affidavit, Billie, an ex-teacher previously based in China, claimed she met Chaponda at a wedding in Harare in March 2012.

Her lawyer Tafadzwa Hungwe told the court Chaponda is not supporting his child and no longer visits Billie and the child.

He said Chaponda forced his client to resign from her job in China and stay with him in Zimbabwe.

“Upon my return, we stayed together until I gave birth,” Billie said in her affidavit.

“All this time I was not aware that the respondent was married.

“I only became aware of his marital status after I had issued summons for maintenance because respondent was no longer coming to visit and was not supporting me and the child.”

Chaponda’s lawyer, Ray Tsvakwi, told the court there was no need to pay child support since Billie and the child had relocated to China where she is gainfully employed as a teacher.

The businessman had offered $30, claiming his wife is the one who takes care of him.

“I have a family to look after comprising of a wife and three children,” Chaponda said.

“I cannot afford to maintain these minor children and am currently depending on my wife and hand-outs from other family members, which hand-outs fluctuate between $50 and $100.

“I am prepared to pay applicant the amount of $30 as maintenance per month in respect of the child, pending conduction of paternity tests.”

Magistrate Gamuchirai Siwardi ordered Chaponda to pay $560.

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