Orchestra Dendera Kings band leader Suluman Chimbetu, who has been in and out of court over a maintenance dispute with his ex-wife Marygold Mutemasango, was yesterday convicted by a Harare court for maintenance arrears amounting to $4 400.
The musician, who is being accused of failing to maintain the two kids he sired with his estranged wife, was convicted by Harare magistrate Ms Amanda Muridzo after his own plea of guilty.
His five months prison sentence was, however, wholly suspended on condition that he paid $300 yesterday, while the remaining debt is expected to be settled on or before February 15.
In the latest case, the State claimed that on December 19, 2016, the Harare Civil Court ordered the musician to pay $800 maintenance for his two minor children, but he defaulted for the period between May and October last year. He only paid $400 in two instalments – on August 2 and September last year.
He arrears rose to $4 400 as a result.
Chimbetu has been dragged to court on several occasions by his former wife over defaulting on maintenance fees, which were pegged at $800 per month at the time. However, late last year, he applied for a downward variation of the amount, claiming that the current fees were too steep for him to afford.
Magistrate Mr Lazini Ncube duly granted his application, which cut his contributions to $400 per month.