DIANA NSOFWA writes

A MAN of Lusaka who regarded his chickens and ducks as his children has learned the hard way that domestic violence can be quite costly.

He has been ordered to compensate his wife with K10,000 after the Matero Local court dissolved their marriage as a result of his violence.

Mathela Biyela, 28, of Zanimuone sued her husband Ching’ambo Chanda, 40, for divorce.

The two were appearing before magistrate Pauline Newa sitting with Harriet Mulenga.

Biyela and Chanda married in 2009 and have three children together.

They had been on separation for a week and had not made love in two months.

Biyela told the court that Chanda would beat her and that he had denied his children saying they were not his.

“We lived well for some time. Our problems started when every time we argued he would pack my things and chase me and after a month he would come and get me.

“He would say that the children were not his. He said only the chickens and ducks we kept were his children,” Biyela said.

She said Chanda had not been giving her any money for their school unless she begged him repeatedly.

“He accuses me of having boyfriends yet I caught him red-handed with another woman. The third time I caught him he beat me and I made him sleep at the police station,” Biyela said.

She said June 6, 2019 was her birthday and she said she would celebrate it by buying alcohol and drinking it at home.

Around 18:00 hours Biyela went to buy beer at one of their tenants’ bar where she was told to wait since other people were being served.

“When Chanda found me there he started beating me. I only had a chitenge on but he dragged me out and my chitenge fell and he continued beating me with people watching, and I was naked,” she testified.

When they arrived home he continued beating her.

Their neighbours tried to talk to him but Chanda said he wanted to kill her. So the neighbours gave up.

“He left me outside and I was down until I got up at 01:00 hours. He followed me again to beat me. I just want this marriage to end,” Biyela said.

Chanda told the court that they lived well until Biyela started business.

“I had asked her to be in our shop but she refused saying there was no money. She has a shop in Mungule that she started secretly. She would leave home and come back to cook for the kids and leave again. She would usually get home at 20:00 hours,” he said.

Chanda said whenever he beat her she would say she would report him to the police.

“She has failed me and she has rejected me. So I can’t force her. She found me with another woman because she would refuse to have sex with me. We even stayed for five months,” Chanda said.

The court observed that there was no respect and that there was too much violence in the marriage.

“You need to respect your wife even if you are upset. You can’t live without sex meaning there are problems in your marriage. There is lack of communication and support,” magistrate Newa said.

She castigated Chanda for failing to provide for his own children.

“The marriage has ended and you will compensate her with K10,000 and maintain the children with K600,” she ordered.

The children would remain in the custody of their mother.

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