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Chihuri loses maintenance battle

Retired Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Augustine Chihuri is
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A BULAWAYO magistrate has ordered former Police Commissioner-General Dr Augustine Chihuri to pay $1 250 every month for the maintenance of a minor child sired with his estranged mistress who is a top cop in the city.

The ruling by Mr Usheunesu Matova follows an application by Dr Chihuri’s estranged mistress, Ms Sithulisiwe Mthimkhulu, who sought an order compelling the former police boss to pay $1 960,60 monthly for the upkeep of their daughter.

Initially, Ms Mthimkhulu, who is an Assistant Commissioner, wanted a lump sum maintenance of $240 000 from the former police boss for the upkeep of their child who is in Grade Four.

She also wanted Dr Chihuri to pay $3 655 per term for school fees, $349 in monthly medical aid and $650 as monthly maintenance for the upkeep of their daughter after defaulting in payment.

In a default judgment delivered yesterday, Mr Matova ordered Dr Chihuri to pay $1 250,60 every month for the upkeep of their child.

“It is hereby ordered that the respondent shall contribute $1 250,60 as maintenance for his child until she attains the age of 18 years or becomes self-supporting whichever occurs first, with effect from July 2018. The respondent shall deposit the money into the applicant’s bank account,” ruled the magistrate.

In papers before the court, Ms Mthimkhulu is the applicant while Dr Chihuri was cited as the respondent.

Ms Mthimkhulu, in her evidence, told the court that her ex-lover had the means to pay the money, arguing that he earns more than $10 000 in monthly pension allowances.

“He earns over $10 000 in the form of monthly pension as well as the income he gets from his personal businesses which include a mine in Shamva and collects monthly rentals from several houses that he owns,” she said.

In her summons, Ms Mthimkhulu revealed that she and the retired police boss have a child together, born on July 2 in 2009.

She said Dr Chihuri neglected her from the time she fell pregnant and has failed to take care of his daughter.

“When it was time for us to go and get the child’s birth certificate, the respondent refused.

“I ended up doing it all on my own and that is why the child bears my surname and not his,” said Ms Mthimkhulu.

Dr Chihuri, in his opposing affidavit, said his monthly pension is $2 668 and he has four other children who depend on him.

He also contended that the payment of school fees and clothes for the child should be shared equally between the two parties.

The maintenance case was initially expected to be heard on February 26 this year at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court where it was filed, but Dr Chihuri did not turn up for the hearing. He could not be located, with the Messenger of Court and police saying they were not aware of his whereabouts. Failure by the Messenger of Court to locate the former top cop forced Ms Mthimkhulu to resort to publishing a notice in the national media to notify him of the summons.