Sungura ace Alick Macheso’s estranged wife, Tafadzwa Fortunate Mapako, was yesterday awarded US$1 030 monthly maintenance rather than the US$7 130 she was demanding in the emotionally charged case that saw her being escorted in and out of court by riot police for fear of public outrage.
Magistrate Mr Tafadzwa Muvhami ordered DNA tests to determine paternity of the children on or before June 6 this year.
Mapako’s lawyers, Mr Gift Nyandoro and Mr David Ngwerume, made an application for judgment to be delivered in chambers following disturbances the previous day when Macheso’s sympathisers verbally abused Mapako.
Mr Muvhami dismissed the application for lack of merit after Macheso’s lawyer, Mr Norman Mugiya, opposed it.
The magistrate, however, said police could ensure “her safety during and after the proceedings” and warned people against attacking Mapako.
In his maintenance ruling, Mr Muvhami said in the absence of witnesses to testify that Macheso gave Mapako a divorce token (gupuro), he was liable to maintain her until she died or she remarried.
“In an unregistered marriage, a gupuro or divorce token is paid to the woman who will then go and tell her parents that she has been divorced. Absolutely, there is no procedure that I know of other than giving it to her or her relative. In other cultures the gupuro is just thrown at the woman’s house.
“If Mapako had rejected it, Macheso was to go to her relatives like her aunts, hence without calling those witnesses, the only conclusion I came to is that the union still subsists, hence he should maintain Mapako,” he said.
But he rejected several of Mapako’s demands, saying only food, medical, clothing, fuel, accommodation and utility bills were important.
For the children’s welfare, Macheso was ordered to pay US$750 broken down as follows: US$350 for rentals, US$200 for food, US$40 for clothes, US$50 for water, US$80 for medical bills and US$30 for fuel monthly. He was also ordered to pay US$280 for Mapako’s food, medical and clothing to bring the total to US$1 030.
Mr Muvhami said: “All the other things can be done away with. For example, a maid when she is not employed, and also the issue of a driver; she should get a licence and drive her car rather than to burden Macheso.”
He said Mapako also failed to prove that Macheso could afford to pay US$7 130 a month.
Mr Muvhami did not have kind words for Macheso, either.
“He is being economical with the truth. As the King of sungura, he commands a huge following and the court cannot ignore the contents of a letter in which Macheso initially offered to pay a monthly maintenance of US$1 200; only three weeks down the line he is now offering US$150, clearly he is not being candid with this court.
“Mapako failed to justify the US$7 130 while on the other hand Macheso also failed to justify the US$150,” he said.