Man divorces wife over step son’s father

A 37-year-old man has sued his wife for divorce in Lusaka because the father of his step son claims that the woman he married was his wife.

This is in a case in which Alick Tembo of Chibolya compound sued his wife, Precious Soneka, 26, for divorce.

However, Soneka said that she still love her husband, Tembo.

The two got married in 2012 and they have two children.

Tembo told Senior Court Magistrate Daniel Phiri sitting with Magistrates Ng’andu Mukuka and Ackim Phiri at Kanyama Local Court that all was well in marriage and that Soneka told him that the child she had was out of wedlock.

He explained that on January 1, 2014 he was surprised when the father of his step son came and asked him why he married his wife who was just at her mother during separation.

Tembo added that the father of his step child continued coming to claim his son.

“Sometimes I would find the step child alone and when I ask Soneka, she would tell me that she went to see the father of my step son. She got annoyed and started sleeping on the floor and stopped doing laundry and cooking for me. My step’ son’s father later came home and said he wanted his wife. The man came when I was at work and neighbours told me that he said he will kill me and that Soneka was supposed to keep the child with him,” he said.

Tembo said Soneka did not want him to control her child and that every time they differed, she would threaten to leave him.

He explained that his life was in danger because the man took a photo of him during the swearing in ceremony of President Edgar Lungu.

Tembo said that Soneka had since stopped cooking for him and that he normally went for work on an empty stomach.

He said he found out that the man paid admission of guilty for the pregnancy and was in the process of marrying Soneka.

In cross-examination, Tembo said he did not refuse to keep his step child.

Asked by the court why he can’t sue the man claiming his wife and his step son or go to police, Tembo said Soneka’s family said they would sue him and that he feared to go to police.

In defence, Soneka said the other man just had a child with her in 2009 and that when he met Tembo she accepted to marry him and he paid dowry.

She explained that when the father of her child came home she phoned Tembo and that they fear each other.

She added that Tembo did not like his step child because he said he could not be keeping a child when his father was still alive.

“My son is just five- years- old and I need to keep him but Tembo shouts at him. He cannot buy clothes for my son despite telling him several times to take care of him. I don’t know what he tells my son in my absence because when he is eating he would stop when he sees Tembo. I love Tembo, he is my husband,” said Soneka.

Magistrate Daniel Phiri granted the couple divorce ordering Tembo to compensate Soneka K12, 000 with initial payment of K1, 000 followed by monthly instalments of K300 and to be paying child maintenance fee of K300 per month. Property acquired together to be shared equally.


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