Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Plumtree Correspondent
A WOMAN from Mangwe has dragged a teacher from Phakami High School in Plumtree to the Maintenance Court for not paying school fees for his 14-year-old son whom she lives with.
Ms Tryphine Sibanda told the court that Ronald Ngwenya was not paying school fees for his son whom he fathered with her later sister.
She said Ngwenya was ordered by the court in January 2015 to pay $50 for the upkeep of his child who is in Form Two.
Ms Sibanda said the teacher was also ordered to pay school fees and buy school uniforms as well as stationery for his son, but had not done so.
She said Ngwenya was neglecting his own son.
“Your Worship I have been struggling to fend for this child because his father has neglected him. Initially he was ordered to pay $70 in 2014 when the boy was in Grade Six. He applied for a downward variation and offered to pay $50 on condition that he will pay school fees and buy uniforms.
“We agreed to the arrangement but he hasn’t been paying any school fees or buying uniforms. He also hasn’t been consistent in paying the $50 maintenance fee. This situation is straining my relationship with my husband because he is constantly complaining that he can’t maintain another person’s child while the father is alive and working,” she said.
Ms Sibanda tendered an application for an upward variation of the maintenance for Ngwenya to pay $100 towards the child’s upkeep and not $50.
“I would like the court to consider that when this arrangement was initially made the child was in primary school but he is now at secondary level. This means his school fees has tripled as he was paying $20 but is now paying $60.
“I don’t understand why I have to suffer so much when the child isn’t mine. I’m also struggling to fend for my own family and if Ngwenya doesn’t own up his son will eventually leave school,” she said.
In response, Ngwenya said he could afford paying only $70 for his child’s upkeep as he had other responsibilities. He said he was married and had three other children.
The teacher said he was also undergoing studies at a local university and was expected to pay fees every semester.
Plumtree magistrate, Mr Joshua Mawere, who presided over the matter, ordered Ngwenya to pay $75 per month for the upkeep of his child.