AN ELDERLY Pumula North man, who was dragged to court by his wife for defaulting on maintenance payment, yesterday told Bulawayo senior magistrate Sibongile Msipa that he fled his matrimonial home because his wife occasionally assaulted him.
Shadreck Chipikiri (66) was taken to court by his wife Florence Chipikiri after he left their matrimonial home in December 2013.
It was the State’s case that on December 18 2013, Shadreck was ordered to pay $50 per month in maintenance to Florence with effect from December 31.
He, however, defaulted in paying for February, March and April this year prompting his wife to take the case back to court.
Shadreck pleaded guilty to contempt of court when he appeared in court yesterday, but said he left the matrimonial home because his wife was beating him up.
“I ran away from home because she was assaulting me,” he said, drawing laughter from the court gallery.
When Msipa asked Florence why she assaulted her husband, she wept and said he always wore shorts to bed.
“So the problem here is denial of conjugal rights?” asked Msipa.
Florence said Shadreck later left home and did not come back home and when she followed him and asked why he went away, he refused to tell her.
She also said he was no longer supporting her.
When asked why he did not pay the maintenance the court ordered him to pay, Shadreck said it was because the child he was paying for was no longer a minor.
When asked if he was married, Shadreck said he was not, but the magistrate interjected and told him not to fool himself.
“Please do not go around telling other women that you are not married. You are still married to this woman and you must continue to pay maintenance for her unless you apply for discharge citing reasons, or if she gets married to another man, but at this age I do not think she can think about getting married again,” said Msipa.
Shadreck asked the court to give him time to pay the outstanding amount and also asked the court to allow him to remove some property in one of the rooms at the house so that he puts a tenant to enable his wife to get money every month in case he fails to pay.
Msipa convicted and sentenced him to 30 days in jail wholly suspended on condition he pays $100 before June 30 after paying the other $50 in court.