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Sulumani offers $70 maintenance


Sungura musician Sulumani Chimbetu has offered $70 in maintenance money for his two children after a magistrate ordered him to pay $1 000 a month.

Chimbetu made the offer in an application at the Harare Magistrates Court seeking to suspend a maintenance order issued last month compelling him to pay $500 per child.

His wife Marigold Mutemasango got the maintenance order after dragging the musician to court last month accusing him of neglecting his children.

But Chimbetu in his application for the suspension of the order filed two weeks ago said he earned $800 a month and feared he might default leading to his incarceration.

I propose the maintenance of $70 be paid and in addition I undertake to meet all the educational expenses in respect of Simeon, who is attending school, he said.

The popular musician also made an appeal at the High Court challenging the granting of the
$1 000 maintenance order by the magistrates court.
He undertook to meet all medical expenses for the two children and buy them clothes once every six months until the appeal was dealt with at the High Court.

Chimbetu said he had two other children, Itai and Sam, from another relationship and was also a breadwinner for his six siblings.

I am a musician and I lead a band of 23 people, he said.

All the money that we realise as a band is shared amongst members such that I get $800 on average per month, an amount which is even less than that which I am supposed to pay as maintenance for the two minors, the musician submitted.

The court should also take note that my liberty is at stake because if the amount is not reduced, it is highly likely that I will fail to pay it, resulting in an arrest for failure to comply with the order despite it being obvious that the amount of $1 000 is too much for me.

The appeal, under case number CIV A50/12, is yet to be set down for hearing.

Mutemasango is yet to file her opposing affidavit at the High Court.

In his founding affidavit, Chimbetu said he had decided to apply for suspension of the maintenance order pending an appeal at the High Court.

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