Noleen Makhurane Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO man yesterday broke into tears at the maintenance court after his estranged wife demanded half of his $11,296 pension.
Stephen Ndlovu from Matshobana suburb told the court he had been married to Esnath Ndlovu for 38 years and had cared for her in all those years.
He told magistrate Adelaide Mbeure that it was unfair for Esnath to claim lump sum maintenance.
“I’ve worked for 38 years and in those years I’ve cared for my wife. She wants half my pension because she doesn’t want to move to the rural areas with me.
“Now I live in fear that she’ll kill me over my pension. After taking her two children and treating them like my own this is what I get,” Ndlovu sobbed.
He told the court that he had not yet received the pension money and had plans to extend their Matshobana house and build another in the rural areas where he wanted to retire with Esnath.
“I’m an employee at the National Railways of Zimbabwe and we haven’t been paid properly since 2014.
“Every cent I get I share it with my family. I’ve a funeral policy that covers all my family. She’s my wife and we were going to use the money together for our benefit instead she wants half my pension for herself,” he said.
Esnath told the court that she wanted $5,648 as lump sum maintenance.
She said that her husband did not support her but would support his girlfriend.
“He doesn’t buy plenty groceries and doesn’t give me money.
“He only gave me $200 on Christmas and the $100 to our grandchildren. All our children are grown up and we live with our grandchildren,” she said.
Esnath said that she did not want to stay in rural areas because she did not get along with her in-laws.
The court heard that Ndlovu was married to Esnath under the Customary Marriage Act, formerly Chapter 238 and since the act permitted him to have more than one wife he married another wife in Mpopoma.
“I’ve another wife and a child. I don’t know why my wife refers to her as a small house. My daughter sometimes comes to stay at my house.
“My other wife is a vendor and I started the business so that she could sustain herself since our salaries aren’t constant. Esnath wants cash on hand but she knows the situation with my salary,” he explained.
Ndlovu said if his wife wanted to live in the city she could stay behind and he will support her but refused to give her half of his pension.
Magistrate Mbeure postponed the matter to January 11 for ruling.