A 37-YEAR-OLD man has told a local court in Lusaka that he wanted to reconcile with his wife for the sake of the children, even if she drinks beer excessively.
This is in a case in which Charles Mutale of Nampundwe has sued his wife, Petronella Mutale, 28, of John Howard compound for reconciliation.
The two got married in 1999 and they have five children.
Mutale told Senior Court Magistrate Ganston Kalala sitting at Chawama Local Court that all was well in their marriage until 2011 when he went to work at Kafue Sugar Company.
He said his wife remained in Lusaka because he had no proper accommodation in Kafue.
Mutale said when he returned from Kafue he found out that his wife had started drinking beer.
He explained that when they sat with elders to resolve the matter Petronella did not stop her new habit of drinking beer and she would fight him whenever he advised her against beer drinking.
Mutale added that towards the end of 2011, Petronella started drinking illicit beer (Kachasu) and that she would come home around 22:00 hours.
“I was refusing to sleep with Petronella because she always smelled of beer. She was even attacked at night because of her late-coming. When we went to Nampundwe, she promised to stop drinking and she started going to church. But she again started despite the church advising her against beer drinking,” he said.
On Christmas Day last year, Petronella fought with him when she got drunk.
She later left home and only resurfaced on January 2, 2015 to get her daughter.
Mutale said he wanted Petronella to come back home for the sake of the children who were young adding that he was keeping all the five of them.
In his submission, Charles said he doesn’t beat Petronella but it was herself who starts the fights when drunk.
Asked by the court why he wanted to live with a woman who drinks beer excessively, Charles said this was for the sake of the children.
In her defence, Petronella said Mutale was always beating her for no apparent reason after accusing her of drinking beer which she does not.
She said she had medical reports and produced one in court as evidence. She explained that her husband was not providing for the family and that she was surviving by selling water.
“There was a time Mutale hit me with a bottle of beer on my head and I fainted. Charles is always boasting that he was going to a new girlfriend,” said Petronella.
She denied being attacked over her coming home late because of beer.
In submission, Charles said she still loved Petronella and that he wanted her to tell the court if she has chosen the life of beer.
Petronella said she does not drink beer and that if Mutale stops beating her she could go back home.
Passing judgment, Magistrate Kalala noted that there was cruelty between the couple.
He said there was no love between Mutale and Petronella.
Magistrate Kalala said reconciliation has failed and that it was up to one of them to sue the other for divorce.