IN AN unexpected turn of events, a Lusaka man who had been dragged to court by his wife for divorce got a shock when the court ordered his arrest after discovering that he married her when she was 13 years old.
Before senior court magistrates Sarah Nyendwa and Mubukwanu Matakala was Watson Mbewe, 34, of Linda township who had been sued by his 27-year-old wife Tapiwa Chimeza of the same township.
In her statement, Chimeza told that the two got married in 2001 and that they have one child together. Bride price was paid.
However, it was at this point that court asked Chimeza how old she was when she got married to which she responded, “13 years old.”
The court then asked Mbewe if he knew how old Chimeza was when he married her and he responded in the affirmative. He then told the court that she was 13-year-old when he married her.
“Don’t you know that it is illegal to marry a child? You will have to go and explain at the Chawama police after we conclude with this case,” Magistrate Matakala said.
But a visibly shaken Mbewe told the court that he did not think age mattered because Chimeza is huge and looked bigger than her age.
And Chimeza said she wanted a divorce because her husband is a womaniser and because of his promiscuity she has contracted a sexually transmitted infection.
She also said Mbewe was physically abusive and feared that he might end up dead one day.
“My husband likes telling me that his manhood has a vast experience and that it is immune to HIV or AIDS and that is the reason he is promiscuous. He says I am not woman enough for him. So I want this marriage dissolved.so I can live my life in peace and he can go ahead and enjoy his many women,” she said.
She also complained that when drunk; he indiscriminately urinates in the house including the kitchen.
In his statement, Mbewe admitted that he was a womaniser but promised he would change his behaviour for the sake of his marriage.
Mbewe said he still loves his wife despite his promiscuous ways.
Passing judgment, the court granted divorce and ordered Mbewe to pay Chimeza K12, 000 as compensation in monthly instalments of K1, 000 starting April. Mbewe was also ordered to pay K350 monthly as child maintenance.
The court ordered the couple to share property equally.