Court cautions Petauke woman over joint child custody

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RABECCA BANDA writes

THE Lusaka Boma local court has ordered a woman of Petauke to adhere to the court order of joint child custody.
Christine Ngulube, 32, was sued by her former husband Sydney Phiri, 40, of Ibex Hill for contempt for restricting him from his child after the court ordered joint custody.
Phiri explained that when their marriage ended they were given joint custody of their child.
“After the divorce I agreed with my former wife to stay with our child but later I discovered that my child was not in Lusaka with her mother as agreed.
“I asked my niece to find out where my daughter was staying. We called her several times but she did not pick up our calls. I discovered that my child was with my former wife’s mother in Petauke,” Phiri said.
He immediately travelled to Petauke to pick his child and called his former wife to inform her but again she did not pick his call.
“I sent her a message telling her that I was going to get my child from her grandmother in Petauke. When I arrived I found my daughter with her grandmother, who readily agreed that I take my daughter.
“But after I left, she informed the police that I had stolen the child. The police arrived and took the child from me. I explained to them that I was the father but they did not listen to me because I had left the court order which showed joint custody,” Phiri said.
He said the child had a health condition and needed to be in Lusaka so that he could take her to UTH for regular checkups.
The two were appearing before presiding Senior Local Court Magistrate Sharon Sichone sitting with Magistrate Mpundu Mwape.
Ngulube said after they divorced she took the child to stay with her at her mother’s house in Petauke.
“On April 1, I was called for a job with ZRA and that’s when I came to Lusaka. I am here for a few weeks doing an induction training.
“I left the child with my mother in Petauke because she is the best person to take care of her when I am not around,” Ngulube said.
She said she wanted to keep the child because she would soon have a good job and would provide for her everything she needed as the K500 she got from her father was not enough.
The court however ordered the mother to bring the child to Lusaka to stay with her father until she completed her training and settled.
The court said the joint custody was still in force and Ngulube had full access to the child.

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