Man offers $5 maintenance for two children

A MUTARE man sent the court gallery into roars of laughter after he told the court that he could only contribute $5 towards the upkeep of his two school-going children.

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Court

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James Manhanga, who had been ordered by the court last year to pay $250 monthly as maintenance for his children dragged his ex-wife, Tarisai Manhanga, to court seeking a downwards variation from $250 to $5 monthly.
\nMrs Yeukai Chigodora presided over the matter.

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James told the court that when the previous order was granted, he was working for Mbada Diamonds and could afford to pay the $250 maintenance fee.

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He also pleaded with the court that he was now unemployed and earned a living from selling firewood, which he claimed got him only $5 a month. “I now get $5 monthly and therefore I’m sacrificing all I get for the sake of my children’s well being. I know that it is not enough Your Worship, but that is all I get. Why would I lie on matters that involve my children and their education?” he said.

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Tarisai, however, had no kind words for her estranged husband claiming that he was already in arrears of the previous order.

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“Your Worship, $5 is an insult to both my children and myself. If he can no longer afford the $250, let it be varied to $150, at least that amount is reasonable and I will be able to pay their fees.

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“He is in total arrears of $1 750 and he has to pay all of it when he is rewarded with his lump sum from Mbada Diamonds of $10 000 soon,” she said.

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She also begged the court to order James to sell some of the beasts they had acquired together. “He has to sell the cattle that I helped him buy Your Worship. I was a hard worker and managed to buy a lot of beasts.

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“If he claims he has so much love for the children, why doesn’t he just sacrifice some of those animals and let the children go to school,” she explained.

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Mrs Chigodora varied the maintenance amount to $50 monthly and told James that he had to work harder so that he contributes towards the upkeep of his children.

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“As she said $5 is an insult to your family and inappropriate so starting on April 30, 2015 you will be paying $50 monthly.

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“You have to work harder towards your children’s well being,” ruled Mrs Chigodora.