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Pastor accused of child neglect

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A CHITUNGWIZA woman told the court yesterday that her ex-husband, who is a businessman and a pastor with the United Family International Church (UFIC), has been neglecting their child for the past eight years.

BY VIMBAI MARUFU

This emerged at the Chitungwiza Civil Court where Blessing Bwowa was claiming $150 from Ignatious Songere for the upkeep of their eight-year-old child.

Bwowa told the court that apart from being a pastor, Songere ran a milling company and a grocery store at Chikwanha shopping centre, but had never provided anything towards the upkeep of their child.

“He is a businessman with a grinding mill and a grocery store. He realises around $1 200 per month, but has never provided anything for the welfare of his child,” she said.

The couple separated years ago.

Songere, however, stunned the court when he told magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa that he would give her only $20 which he said would be enough to buy food, clothing and pay school fees for the child.

“I can give her $20 because I am facing financial constraints at the moment. I had a milling company, but it is no longer operational and I have a lot of debts to pay,” he said.

“I have a wife who is expecting and three other children to look after and I am actually being helped to look after them by well-wishers.”

He told the presiding magistrate that the well-wishers were also giving him about $20 for each of his children, hence the money he was offering would be enough.

Bwowa refuted his claims, saying he was not being truthful.

“I stayed with this pastor for quite a while. He is a liar and his businesses at Chikwanha are running,” Bwowa said.

Magistrate Gofa ordered Songere to pay $100 every month.

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