Court warns against high bride prices
Published On May 3, 2014 » 6902 Views» By Administrator Times » Court News, Latest News
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Courts LogoBy SARAH TEMBO –

AS BRIDE prices continue to rise in Zambia, Lusaka Local Court Magistrate Daniel Phiri has warned that it is inappropriate for people to ask for huge amounts of money in exchange for their daughters.
Magistrate Phiri said it was wrong for parents to ask for exorbitant amounts as lobola and compensation for damages after their daughters were impregnated.
This was in a case where Leyungo Pumolo 52, sued Mike Vluhukis, 33 after the defendant failed to pay K25,000 compensation for impregnating his daughter.
Facts before the court were that in 2012 Vluhukis impregnated Pumolo’s niece and was told to pay K25,000 in damages.
Pumolo told the court that since 2012, when Vluhukis was ordered to pay the money, the defendant had failed to settle the amount.
The court also heard that Vluhukis did not support his child despite promising that he would be doing so when the child was born.
“I want him to give me the money that I asked him for damages, and he should also start supporting his child,” he said.
In his defence, Vluhukis submitted before the court that he failed to pay because the money was too much.
He said Pumulo ordered him to pay K25,000 as compensation for impregnating his daughter but reduced it to K17,000 after he complained.
Vluhukis said he decided to visit his girlfrind’s biological father who told him that he should just concentrate on taking care of the child and forget about paying the K17,000 he had been asked by Pumolo.
“The K25,000 and K17,000 is just too much to pay for damage, I have not refused to pay him provided that he reduced the amount,” he said.
But Magistrate Phiri sitting with Shallon Sichone and Pauline Newa said asking someone to pay K25,000 as compensation for damages was tantamount to selling the child.
Magistrate Phiri therefore reduced the amount by asking Vluhukis to pay K6,000 instead of the K25,000 demanded by the plaintiff.

’Wizard claims land woman in trouble


A TWENTY-ONE-year-old woman of Kabushi Township has been fined K800 for alleging that an 84 -year-old man of the same area was a wizard.
Passing judgment, Kabushi Local Court presiding magistrate Oscar Kalaba said the  matter had been proved and Tabeya Mozimupiya was found guilty of accusing Mr James Lubi of practising witchcraft.
Mr Lubi told the court that on April 3, 2014 Ms Mozimupiya told him that she dreamt about him being involved in evil practices.
He said the allegations by the defendant shocked him because he had been looking at her as his own child.
“I have seen this girl grow, she’s as good as my child, I was so shocked that she could call me a wizard,” he said.
He said thereafter, he went home and shared the same information with his grandchildren who also went to approach her over the allegations. But  she insisted that the plaintiff was actually a wizard.
But in her defence, Ms Mozimupiya said Mr Lubi had brought money for some goods he bought from her stand.
She said after he made the payment, he asked why she kept on starring at him and what was it that she always thought about him.
She said her response was that there was nothing wrong and also denied ever calling Mr Lubi a wizard.
But Mr Kalaba in judgment said that there was nothing wrong in dreaming of someone and that should not warrant anyone to accuse another of practising witchcraft.
Mr Kalaba said the K800 fine should be paid in installment of K200 for four months from June 2, 2014.

Woman weeps to save broken marriage


A 56-YEAR-OLD woman of Lusaka’s Kabulonga Township shocked a fully packed Boma Local Court during the week as she wept uncontrollably pleading with the court not to divorce her from her husband.
Catherine Mpande told the court that at her age she could not bear the shame and stigma associated with divorce.
This was in a case where her husband James Mpande, 64 sued for divorce following persistent marital problems.
Catherine said problems in their marriage started when Mpande started an affair with their maid before seeing another woman of Kafue Township.
Although her husband who has since left the matrimonial home wanted divorce, Catherine said she was not ready to separate and begged the court to reconcile them.
“I am old, at my age and what will I tell the children if I divorce today. I will continue waiting for my husband, no matter how long it will take for him to come back home,” said Catherine who could not hold back her tears.
“I am very sure that the young woman my husband is going out is just after his money.”
She called on the young women fond of having love affairs with older men to stop because they were causing pain to their fellow women.
However, Mpande told the court that he no longer wanted to continue staying with his wife because she was a bad woman who had made him go through so much pain.
In apparent reference to Catherine’s cry, Mpande said his wife was a comedian who had managed to attract sympathy from all the people in court.
“So, you people pretending to be surprised are you telling me that you have never seen a man of my age marry a young woman?
“I don’t care how my wife cries, all I want is the court to grant us divorce so that I can marry the woman I want,” he said.
The case has since been adjourned to 12th of May.

2 murder suspects apply to change lawyer


TWO persons in a case they are jointly charged with five others accused of brutally  killing  two taxi drivers using a metal wire  have  applied to  the  court to change  legal representation claiming they have never seen their lawyer.
The  two  accused  persons  applied  to  Kabwe  High Court  Judge Elita  Mwikisa to  allow  them  change  their lawyer Tutwa Ngulube from Nanguzyambo Associates to  Legal  Aid.
This  is in a case in which  the  seven are  facing two counts of  murder, attempted murder and  aggravated  robbery.
Particulars of the offence were that in count one, the accused on September 12, 2012 in Kabwe stole from Simon Phiri a Toyota Corolla registration Number ABZ 1481 valued at K21,000.
In count two, the seven whilst acting together murdered Simon Phiri and in count three whilst acting together stole a motor vehicle from Aaron Hansanda a Toyota Sprinter registration number ABZ 3004 valued at K20,000.
In count four, they are facing murder charges for Hansanda, and in count five  two of the accused  on January 10,2013 in Kabwe whilst acting together assaulted Eugene Mulenga with intent to steal a motor vehicle namely Toyota Corolla Registration number ACR 6892 valued at K28,000 while armed  with a wire.
The seven have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
But  when  the  case  came  up for the continuation of trial, Kingsley and Joseph applied to the  court  for change  of their  lawyers. The court  granted  the  application.
Police officers testified in court how the juvenile offenders lead them to the scene of the crimes.
Josephat Mukuba, 28,  of Kabwe Police station told the court that on January 11, 2013 around 01:00 hours, he received a phone call from an informer that some suspected criminals believed to be behind the killing of Taxi drivers were lodging at a house in Kabwe.
Mr Mukuba said he called for backup from the anti-robbery squad and went to the house where two juvenile suspects were picked up.
He said Eugene Mulenga a taxi driver who had been attacked that same night accompanied the police officers and identified the two as the ones that attacked him.
Mr Mukuba explained that after questioning the two over the killing of taxi drivers they lead the police where they had dumped two of the bodies of other taxi drivers they killed earlier using a wire and stolen vehicles from.
He told the court that the two lead the police officers to Kabwe’s Natuseko Site and Service at a place called Chidizi were they dumped the bodies in a stream.
Mr Mukuba added that the accused later  lead police officers to Ndola at a garage were the vehicles they stole were being dismantled and dragon wires were been made.
Nyambezi Zimba aged 45 narrated how on September 12, 2012 around 19:00 hours after supper, her son Simon Phiri left home for his night shift as a taxi driver.
Zimba said her son used to work in the night and he usually went back home around 07:00 hours the following day. But on that day, he did not show up and that the following morning, she went to sell local brew unknown as Munkoyo.
She said on her return later in the afternoon, she went back home and was shocked to find a number of people at her house and that’s how she learnt that her son had been killed.
Zimba said she went to Kabwe General Hospital Mortuary and identified her son whose body was  swollen up and had a dragon wire across the  neck.

‘I want a share of my daughter’s estate’


A woman of Lusaka has asked a local court to revoke the appointment of her son-in-law as administrator of estate for his late wife.
Juliet Chama told the court that her son in-law Daniel Mukombwe 40, had failed to administer her late daughter’s estate because since her death in 2012 she had not been given her share as ordered by the court.
This was in case where Chama sued Mukombwe for revocation of  administrator after he allegedly failed to administer his late wife’s estate.
Evidence before the court was that Mukombwe’s wife died in 2012 leaving behind a boarding house. The court ordered that Chama should be getting 30 per cent from the rentals of the boarding house.
However, Chama submitted that although Mukombwe had been collecting the rentals, he had not been giving his mother in-law her share.
“Whenever I try to confront him, he gets upset and shouts at me. He says he is using the money to finish building the boarding house.
“Therefore, I want him to step down as an administrator, so that we choose someone who would manage to administer the estate accordingly,” she said.
But Mukombwe refused to step down citing that he built that house with his wife hence it was impossible for him to give to someone else to administer it.
He said the time his wife died the boarding house was not complete hence the K60,000 he had collected for two terms from the students he used it to finish building the structure.
When passing judgment magistrate Pauline Newa sitting with Shallon Sichone and Daniel Phiri dismissed the claim.

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