A ZIMBABWEAN nurse based in Australia was wrongly arrested when he flew in on Boxing Day and spent two nights in police custody for accruing $14 400 in maintenance arrears.
by PAIDAMOYO MUZULU
It later emerged Kephas Gombe (27) had not been served with maintenance order papers for the charge he was held for.
Gombe regained his freedom yesterday when the prosecution withdrew the charges after realising the warrant of arrest had been issued in error.
Prosecutor Francisca Mukumbiri yesterday withdrew the charges against Gombe (27) before plea after the civil court wrote advising of the error.
The letter, dated December 31, had a reference which read: “Withdrawal of Section 23 of Maintenance Act issue in error: P Karimazondo vs K Gombe, M4659/13.”
It instructed: “The above-mentioned warrant for section 23 of the Maintenance Act issued by this honourable court on December 21, 2015 was issued in error and is, therefore, withdrawn.”
Magistrate Tendai Rusinahama then removed Gombe from remand.
Gombe had, however, spent two nights in custody before he was freed.
Gombe, in his warned-and-cautioned statement to the police, said he was not aware of the maintenance case, as he was never served with any court papers.
“I do not know anything about this maintenance issue. I was not served and did not attend any court to that effect and I only came to know about maintenance when I was arrested on December 26,” he argued.
It was the State case that Gombe had a child with Patience Karimazondo and on their divorce, she claimed and was awarded $600 child maintenance per month at the civil courts in December 2013.
It is alleged, Gombe paid nothing from the date the order was granted till December 2015, with the arrears ballooning to $14 400.
Karimazondo sought the arrest of Gombe, arguing that since he was no longer resident in the country, it would be difficult to pursue him to pay the maintenance.