GOKWE-NEMBUDZIYA MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) has wriggled off the $1 500 child maintenance hook imposed on him a year ago after the High Court yesterday quashed the order and referred the matter back to the magistrate for a fresh assessment.
SEBNIOR COURT REPORTER
In upholding Wadyajena’s appeal against the order, High Court judges of appeal Justices Amie Tsanga and Alphias Chitakunye said the magistrate who granted the order misdirected himself after failing to apply his mind to the relevant issues before making the order.
“Having listened to counsels, the most reasonable approach or step to take would be to uphold the appeal, but remit the matter back to the magistrate court for a proper assessment of the needs of the child to be made,” Justice Tsanga said.
The judges further said a perusal of the court record showed that both parties, Wadyajena and his former lover Wadzanai Mudare, made their expenses claims on their 10-year old daughter by simply basing them on speculations.
In his submissions, Wadyajena’s lawyer, Advocate Clemence Phiri, said according to the Maintenance Act, a magistrate dealing with a maintenance claim had a duty to carry out the fullest investigation into the relevant facts of the case, but that was not done in his client’s matter.
Phiri further urged the court not to dismiss the matter, but to refer it back to the lower court adding it was in the best interests of the child to do so than to have the matter dismissed.
In October last year, the MP was summoned to court to defend an $11 600 maintenance claim filed by Mudare.
Mudare had told the lower court that Wadyajena was a man of means who owned eight top-of-the-range vehicles, a firm and operated a fleet of over 100 haulage trucks operating as Mayor Logistics.
The legislator, however, then offered to pay $200 per month arguing he earned $2 500 per month. But the court ordered him to pay $1 500.