CHICKEN Inn Football Club striker Obadiah Tarumbwa, who was in June sentenced to 12 months in prison for defaulting on $6 752 maintenance, was on Friday released after paying $1 500 and making a commitment to settle the arrears.
BY NIZBERT MOYO
Tarumbwa appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Rachel Mukanga where he made a commitment to settle the maintenance arrears and made a $1 500 down payment.
The magistrate granted his request before ordering his release on condition that he pays $350 monthly towards maintenance arrears with effect from October 30, until the debt is cleared.
Tarumbwa was arrested after accumulating $6 752 in maintenance arrears for his two children.
In 2016, he was ordered to pay $316 monthly towards the upkeep of his two children, but only paid $200.
The soccer player, who has been in and out of court for failure to pay maintenance, was in 2016 sentenced to five months imprisonment but the sentence was wholly suspended on condition that he cleared his arrears.
In February, Tarumbwa only paid $200 towards his arrears. He had pleaded guilty to failure to pay maintenance and was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
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The magistrate suspended three months on condition he did not repeat a similar offence in the next five years. The remaining nine months were suspended on condition that he settled the arrears.
Tarumbwa had told the court that he could not afford $316 as he did not have a contract with Chicken Inn. He also said he had another child with another woman.
“Your worship, $316 is too much for me to pay. I know they are my children and I have to look after them, but it’s hard for me to raise the money, especially now that I only get paid after playing a game and we win.
“If we don’t win then I don’t get anything because I am not on any contract. I tried negotiating at the maintenance court, but they didn’t understand me because people think soccer players have money, yet we don’t,” he said.
The magistrate told Tarumbwa that the court had seen that he had the means to pay maintenance, so he had to comply.
Prosecutor Raymond Makhaza had told the court that Tarumbwa has been in maintenance arrears since July 2016.