Headmaster, magistrate in maintenance court spat
A SEEMINGLY agitated Bulawayo magistrate, Mwanase Musiiwa, yesterday ordered a Binga headmaster to vacate the maintenance court after he had told the judicial officer that his ruling was unfair.
Marcus Chitswa, a Pumula South suburb resident applied for a downward variation order from $150 to $70 in monthly maintenance payments.
The court heard that the headmaster is in maintenance arrears amounting to $1 000 after he was dragged to court by his ex-wife Rosemary Sibanda.
Chitswa, who said he is a secondary school headmaster in Binga and earns $420 per month, argued that he was married and had two other children he was looking after.
The magistrate granted Chitswa’s application, but turned down his request to lift a garnishee order.
Mr Musiiwa told him that each month he had to pay an additional $20 to clear his arrears to bring the total amount he was supposed to fork out to $90. This did not go down well with the headmaster. Chitswa complained saying the amount was too much, and it would have been better if the magistrate had removed the garnishee order. He told the magistrate that his ruling was unfair. Chitswa protested that his rights were being violated as both parents have a responsibility to support their children, but the magistrate was treating him as if he was the only one who was supposed to contribute to the upkeep of their children.
Mr Musiiwa looked agitated, removed his spectacles and said “May you please leave the court if you are not comfortable with my order. You can go and appeal at the High Court rather than being busy arguing. You are wasting my time, and there are other people outside who want to be served.”
Chitswa left the courtroom, but returned shortly afterwards to ask if the magistrate had considered that he was a bread winner in his family before granting the order.
“My worship may you please consider my responsibilities. I look after my mother who is terminally ill and crippled. As I am talking now she is on a wheel chair and recently I took a loan to pay her hospital bills. I also pay medical aid and funeral policy for my family including the respondent’s child. I am also studying at Lupane State University,” he said.
The magistrate responded saying: “Get out!”— @ cynthiamthembo1.