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Man deserts abusive wife

Bored couple watching tv on the couch at home in living room
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A Mutare man has deserted his home due to his wife’s abuse.

Sadly, the couple’s children are now stranded and are currently not going to school.

This emerged at Mutare Magistrates Civil Court where Musada Matumwa was applying for US$312 as maintenance for her four children from her husband, Tongoona Tarudana.

However, Tarudana argued that Matumwa should not be applying for the maintenance since his mother who is based in Masvingo was granted custody of the children.

“I pay my children’s school fees. They are enrolled at a Masvingo school. The last time we appeared before this court, the presiding magistrate ruled that the children should be under the custody of their grandmother, my mother.

“That is because this woman had dumped our six months old baby and the other children at my mother’s house,” said Tarudana.

He added: “She took the children from my mother under the pretence that they were going for the school holiday.

“At the beginning of the second term, I asked her to return them, but she refused. She is now asking me to give her money for their school fees, yet the reason I transferred them to Masvingo is because I cannot afford to pay the fees for urban schools.

“If I am to pay maintenance, I should pay it to my mother, although she is not complaining since I support my children. I have been paying my children’s fees and buying their clothes and groceries consistently.

“My mother can vouch for me. The challenge is that my wife called my mother and insulted her. When I called my mother to discuss the children’s return, she said I should first talk to my wife before she accepts them back,” said Tarudana.

He said he moved to his friend’s house following constant fights with his wife.

“I am no longer staying with her. She is my wife, but when she starts shouting she doesn’t stop. She is very provocative, and I do not have any peace. I am afraid that I will end up being charged with domestic violence charges if I continue staying with her.

“My friend and his wife now understand my wife’s aggression. Noone can reprimand her and she has mood swings. Even cockroaches run for their lives when she starts yelling,” said Tarudana.

In response, Matumwa said she has the right to take care of her children.

“He divorced me, so why should I take my children to his mother? My children will stay with me. They will eat what I eat, sleep where I sleep and stay where I stay. I am also capable of looking after them. The only thing I want from him is money to look after them,” she said.

“Besides, he has not been looking after the children. They have been surviving on menial jobs at their grandmother’s house. I cannot leave my children suffering when I am still alive. Currently the children are at home and not attending school because there is no money for school fees. My husband used to pay rent for us, but has since stopped. He has totally abandoned the family,” she said.

However, Tarudana said he is paying the rent directly to the landlord since Matumwa is reckless with money.

“I have not been giving her money because she does not know how to use it wisely. She spends money on luxury things, yet we have to cater for our children’s needs.

“Even if the court rules that I should pay her maintenance, she will squander the money and leave the children to suffer. I will have to buy groceries and pay rentals on top of the maintenance.

“It is better for me to give her US$20 for the children’s upkeep and pay their school fees,” said Tarudana.

Matumwa confirmed that Tarudana is directly paying rentals to the landlord, but insisted that she should handle the money.

The presiding magistrate, Mr Xavier Chipato, ruled that Tarudana should pay US$20 as maintenance for the toddler who is still breastfeeding.

Mr Chipato also ordered Matumwa to return the other children to their rightful custodian, their grandmother.

Another US$50 will then be deposited into their grandmother’s account every month.
Tarudana was also ordered to pay the children’s school fees.