Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Ex-Sun Mail Editor Faces U.S $4 700 Maintenance Claim

FORMER Sunday Mail editor Brezhnev Malaba is reportedly neglecting his family, and his wife has filed a maintenance claim of US$4 750 a month at the Harare Civil Court. Mrs Violet Malaba is suing her husband for maintenance arguing that he had since moved out of the family home and that he was not supporting her and their seven-month-old baby.

Mrs Malaba’s lawyer, Mr Tafadzwa Hungwe of Venturas and Samukange Law Firm, filed the claim on April 24 this year at the Civil Court.

But yesterday magistrate Mr Tafadzwa Muvhami removed the case from the court roll to allow the claimant to amend her papers.

In the application filed, Mrs Malaba deposed an affidavit in which she tried to justify the US$4 750 claim.

Mrs Malaba stated that she married Malaba under Chapter 5:11 of the Marriages Act in August last year and their union was blessed with a baby girl Sibahle Tatiana Malaba.

Mrs Malaba said her husband had been providing her with everything and she was now accustomed to a top-class lifestyle.

“Efforts to get maintenance payment from the respondent are proving very difficult considering that he just left the matrimonial home without notice.

“This has left us to survive at the mercy of well-wishers and handouts.

“I have even gone to the extent of approaching the respondent at his workplace to try and resolve our matrimonial issues but to no avail.

“Respondent is avoiding me and refuses to cater for his responsibility,” she stated.

Mrs Malaba said her husband stopped her from going to work where she was earning over US$400 after promising to provide her with everything.

“I was gainfully employed as a sales and marketing executive at Devcam Enterprises earning well over US$400.

“When respondent married me, he insisted that he would provide everything and that I be a housewife,” she said.

Mrs Malaba said Malaba was capable of paying the claimed money considering that he was a director of two companies–Unathi Resources (Private) Limited and Erriot Investments (Private) Limited.

Responding to the application, Malaba filed a notice of opposition on April 28 urging the court to throw out the claim.

In the event that the court decides to grant the claim, Malaba said he had fallen from grace and that he could only afford to pay US$50 monthly towards the upkeep of both the wife and the daughter.

Malaba’s lawyers, Mapaya and Partners, stated in the opposing papers that the termination of his contract of employment took away the work-related benefits that he had.

“During the tenancy of his contract of employment as an editor, the respondent was entitled to the benefits such as holiday allowance, DSTV, accommodation, school fees, which he could easily convert to the benefit of his family.

“The termination of his employment took away all the benefits and the salary and as of now the respondent is a man of no means and he has not yet secured an alternative form of employment,” read the notice of opposition.

Malaba, according to the notice of opposition, was not able to make any savings as the money was gobbled by Mrs Malaba’s luxurious demands.

He admitted that he was a director for Unathi Resources but said the company had fallen on hard times financially and that it did not own any assets.

Malaba, however, denied being the director of Erriot Investments and challenged his wife to prove the claim.

The matter is yet to be re-set down for hearing at the Harare Magistrates’ Civil Court.

Source : The Herald