Woman jailed for claiming maintenance from two men

Harare Magistrates Court

HARARE – A HARARE woman who sought two different birth certificates for her daughter before claiming maintenance from two fathers was yesterday slapped with a 30-day prison term for breaching the Births Registration Act.

Stella Kwanisai, 31, was convicted of wilfully giving false information for purposes of registration of birth of a child before Harare magistrate Amanda Muridzo. She was convicted on her own plea of guilt.

However, Kwanisai remained mum about the paternity issue, only admitting to acquiring two different birth certificates for her daughter.

She was given an option of $80 fine or complete 30 days in jail.

The complainant was Kenias Chizema, 46, of Glenwood in Epworth.

Kwanisai and Chizema were once in an extra-marital affair sometime in 2007 and she fell pregnant.

On March 22, 2008 Kwanisai gave birth to a girl and registered the child in the name Ruvimbo Precious Nyaude claiming Solver Nyaude was the father.

On May 28, 2012 Kwanisai further registered the child as Precious Chizema, this time claiming Chizema was the father.

In January 2013, Kwanisai claimed maintenance from Chizema and he was confronted by Nyaude asking why he was paying maintenance for his child.

Both men discovered that they had been registered as fathers of Kwanisai’s child, respectively, prompting Chizema to file for discharge of a maintenance order that had been granted by the Civil Court.

However, then presiding magistrate Tracey Muzondo ruled that her court had no jurisdiction to terminate the maintenance order passed by the Civil Court and said she would only determine the criminal issues brought before her.

Chizema has a pending case of failure to pay maintenance arrears of $3 538 pending before Muzondo’s court.

“The accused person was dragged to this court by the complainant after she realised that her fraudulent activities had been unearthed.

“She is aware that he paid all his maintenance arrears through her Kingdom Bank account and after its closure he would give her cash,” Chizema’s lawyer Bothwell Ndlovu said.

“On one of the days this year, the accused person then discovered another birth certificate for his child which had been registered by another father.

“When he began questioning the issue that was when complainant reported this matter.”

Ndlovu further advised the court that another man had also been given paternity of the same child and it was not clear if Chizema was the father of the child.

According to State papers, in January 2013, a Harare Civil Court order compelled Chizema to pay $61 monthly maintenance towards the upkeep of the pair’s child.

However, Chizema did not comply with the court’s order and only paid $488 and his arrears accrued to $3 538.

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