‘Go back to school because HIV is no death sentence’

A local court in Lusaka has told a grade eight school girl who eloped and was later infected with HIV by a teacher to go back to school because HIV is not the end of life.

Senior Court Magistrate Lewis Mumba sitting with Magistrate Petronella Kalyelye at Matero Local Court said this in a case in which Jonathan Banda, 28, of George compound sued Rogun Siachintu, 29, of Kamwala South, a teacher for eloping with his cousin, Monica Phiri, 21. Siachintu denied eloping with Phiri.

Banda told the court that on June 4, 2014 Siachintu eloped with his cousin for two days and that the third day he cameto see him  with his landlord and said he wanted stay with her.

He explained that he charged him K5, 400 for marriage and K1000 for elopement, adding that Siachintu went to stay with, Phiri.

Banda added that later Siachintu brought a call out from the Victim Support Unit where he said he had been forced to take  Phiri with him.

Asked by the court how long Siachintu stayed with Phiri, Banda said nine months during which  nothing was paid.

In defence, Siachintu said he got Phiri and stayed with her for two nights and the third day he returned her but her relatives refused because they feared she could be pregnant. Siachintu said he was told to stay with Phiri for three months as per tradition.

He explained that when he went to Phiri’s relatives   they charged him K1000 for elopement which he admitted but he refused the K5,400 charge for marriage  because he had no intention of marrying her.

Siachintu told the court that Phiri had been insulting him and stealing money, adding that at one time she pulled his manhood.

“She was refusing to cook, I even started to cook on my own and this prompted me to go to Victim Support Unit because she was not marriage material.

She even took me to police on two occasions. At victim support unit they wanted us to share property as if we were married,” said Siachintu.

Asked by the court if they were also sleeping together, Siachintu answered in the affirmative.

Phiri told the court that Siachintu promised to marry her when he eloped with him.  She said after two days with Siachintu, he wanted to take her back to her parents but they refused and charged him K1000 for elopement and K5,400 for marriage.

Asked by Siachintu why she was stealing money if she loved him, Phiri said she was getting K10s because he was not giving her money for clothes.

Asked by the court if she was pregnant, Phiri said she was not but Siachintu infected her with HIV.

In submission,Banda said that he wanted compensation because Phiri got infected with HIV after Siachintu eloped with her.

Siachintu said he wanted the relationship to end.

Passing judgment, Magistrate Mumba told Phiri to go back to school because HIV was not the end of life.

He ordered Siachintu to compensate Banda K6000 with initial payment of K1,500 followed by monthly instalments of K1000.


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