A 55-YEAR-OLD Mutare woman on Thursday escaped jail when she was slapped with a wholly suspended five months in prison for failing to pay maintenance to her divorced husband for over a year.
Pelnah Maoneke was convicted on her own plea of guilty on contempt of court charges when she appeared before Mutare magistrate Poterai Gwezhira.
It was the State’s case that in December 2011 at the Mutare Civil Court, Maoneke was ordered to pay her former husband, Thomas Nhukarume, $40 per month as maintenance from the proceeds of their matrimonial home since they were divorced.
The court heard that Maoneke breached the order and failed to pay the maintenance dues from January 2013 to August 2014 which amounted to $800, committing contempt of court charges.
In passing sentence, magistrate Gwezhira urged Maoneke to respect the order and maintain her former husband.
The magistrate said Maoneke risked going to prison as she had previous convictions of a similar nature.
She was ordered to pay the arrears in maintenance of $800 before December 2014 and urged to continue paying the monthly $40 so that she would not be in breach of the court ruling.
Maoneke nearly left the courtroom in stiches over her interjections during court proceedings. She said it was becoming unbearable for her to continue maintaining her former husband and suggesting instead that Nhukarume should find ways to collect money from their matrimonial home.