A Mutare man who has three wives stunned the court recently when he begged his estranged fourth wife to come back home, 12 years after their separation.
John Mudyanegava told the court that he still loves his wife, Ruth Matondo, and wants her back home.
However, Matondo said this was just a ploy for Mudyanegava to evade paying maintenance.
Matondo was making an application for $80 000 monthly maintenance for her 14-year-old child with Mudyanegava.
She claimed that Mudyanegava gets US$300 monthly from selling car tyres and motor spares.
She said ever since she left him in 2010, he has never provided for his child and ignores her calls.
Matondo is a vendor who gets US$150 every month.
“I have been looking after the child all along, but I cannot continue anymore because the child is now in secondary school. The father should also contribute towards the child’s upkeep,” she said.
Mudyanegavi, however, said he could not afford the money Matondo was asking for.
He said he wants Matondo and his child back home.
“Your Worship, during those 12 years that we have been apart, I have asked her on countless occasions to come back home. Sometimes I would convince her to come back home, but she would later leave. I still love her,” he said.
Mudyanegavi left the gallery in stitches when he said he feels obligated to look after Matondo as she is an orphan.
“I feel pity for Matondo. I honestly do not know if it is pity or the love that I have for her. This woman lost both parents and I feel responsible for her welfare. I love her and cannot just watch her suffering out there with my child. She is an orphan and now my child has also been orphaned due to the separation of her parents,” he said.
Matondo, however, said Mudyanegavi secretly divorced her.
“This man is a liar and I pray that the court will not be fooled by his lies. I am not the one who decided to end our marriage, it was him who gave my family a divorce token while I was away at work. He does not love me, he just wants to evade paying maintenance,” she said.
Mudyanegavi offered to fork out $25 000 every month, stating that he gets US$120 a month, and that he has seven children and three wives who are all his dependants.
He was ordered to pay US$40 for the upkeep of his child every month until the child turns 18 years old or becomes self-sufficient.
The matter appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Xavier Chipato. – Manica Post