A Mutare businessman who registered his properties and trucks under his wife’s name to evade paying maintenance bragged about the woman’s financial muscle before the courts.
Allen Makumi recently appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Xavier Chipato, applying for a downwards review of his child’s maintenance.
Makumi said he is no longer able to pay US$180 to Prisca Nyakutowa every month, adding that he can only afford US$100 since his trucks are no longer reliable.
“I used to own lorries and trucks, but they are down due to mechanical faults. The other trucks that we hired are no longer in business, so life has been difficult for me.
“I can no longer afford to pay US$180, but US$100. I was also wondering if my child can be transferred to a Government school which is affordable,” he said.
Makumi also said he is failing to pay for the trucks’ licences due to low business.
However, Nyakutowa said Makumi is a liar who wants to make life difficult for their child.
She said she is providing for most of the child’s needs.
“I do not care about his money. I just expect him to pay for his child’s school fees. What does US$180 do in my child’s life, let alone US$100? I am an independent woman. The child’s fees only is US$300. Who does he want to pay for the child’s fees?
“I am a vendor, but I have been providing for the child alone and he has been stingy. He is just being unreasonable.
“When I came to court applying for maintenance for the first time, he lied that he didn’t own any trucks, yet he does. I had to look for a private investigator who proved that he owns the trucks, although they are in his wife’s name.
“He did that to evade paying the child’s expenses. We are supposed to share the responsibility, rather than trying to make life difficult for each other,” she said.
Nyakutowa also said Makumi is not consistent in paying the monthly maintenance, adding that she is being lenient by not pressing contempt of court charges against him.
“When the initial US$60 maintenance was granted, he would pay US$50. When I was supposed to get US$180, he was paying US$70. Last month, I received US$70 again.
“He does not comply with the court orders. If US$100 is to be granted, he will give me peanuts. He delays giving me the money and at the end of the day, I am failing to pay the child’s school fees on time.
“I have been lenient with him, otherwise I would have reported him for not paying the child’s fees.”
Nyakutowa also said Makumi was lying about his trucks not being operational as she always see them around town.
“I am always seeing his trucks in town. Why is he lying that they are no longer operational? He should be a responsible father,” she said.
“This year, this is our third time in court because of him. It is irritating. The last time it was maintenance, then a peace order application and now a maintenance downwards review. I am tired of this. I have other important things to do,” said Nyakutowa.
Mr Chipato granted US$100 as maintenance and ordered both parties to share the child’s school related expenses.