THE Kamuchanga Local Court in Mufulira has dissolved the eight-year marriage of district commissioner Hildah Kawesha and her husband Michael Mwansa. But Mwansa says he is not happy that judgment was passed in the chamber without his consent when the divorce hearing was held in an open court.
According to facts before court, Kawesha, 51, sought divorce on grounds that her marriage to Mwansa had already ended outside court after dowry to his family was returned. She also alleged that Mwansa was a drunkard who even slept in drinking places and that he had a daughter who had no respect for elderly people.
Kawesha further alleged that the same daughter used to cook separately for her father, thereby separating families in the house, among other grounds. But Mwansa, a retired mine captain from Mopani Copper Mines, told the court that troubles in their marriage started the moment Kawesha was appointed District Commissioner last year.
He denied Kawesha’s testimony that there was a divorce made outside the court. Mwansa said the two got married in the same court upon payment of dowry and had no children between them. He contended that there had never been major domestic squabbles between them since their marriage was confirmed in the same court in 2008.
Mwansa submitted to the court that following their marriage, Kawesha moved in with 10 dependants who joined the other three he was already keeping at his house. The court heard that at the time of the marriage, the couple lived happily in the upmarket residential area along Hombwe Avenue and later Maina Soko Avenue but moved to house number 3192/B in Ndeke Village upon his retirement in December, 2014.
“We amicably enjoyed the terminal benefits with the claimant and the family. In 2016, the claimant (Kawesha) was appointed district commissioner, a position she is still holding,” Mwansa said.
He alleged in his submissions that in December 2016, Kawesha told him that following her political appointment, her status had been elevated and that their retirement house in Ndeke Village was not commensurate or appropriate to live in as it tarnished her image. Mwansa submitted that Kawesha said the Ndeke house had dust which ‘soiled’ her clothes and therefore decided to shift to Maina Soko and later Funda Avenue and promised to return when Mwansa put remedial measures in place.
He alleged that in January 2017, he received reports that Kawesha was having an affair with a pastor from Luanshya who had actually moved in with her and were seen together at public functions and were in the process of getting married. Mwansa prayed that the court dismisses Kawesha’s claims with costs and award damages it may deem fit for him, having been dumped to serve as a warning to wives or husbands who forsake their spouses when elevated to positions of power.
But senior local court magistrate, a Mr Chitungulu, granted divorce without any costs. The findings of the court were that dowry had been returned which therefore meant that divorce had occurred before the court and that the claimant could not reconcile with the defendant.
“Look, at first they wanted the matter to be heard in the chamber but I opposed and we proceeded to hear the case in an open court on November 16, but today, I was just called in the chamber where judgment was passed. I am not happy but I am not going to appeal, she has made her decision, it’s fine,” complained Mwansa who was in the company of a few of his relatives.
When contacted on whether she was in the process of wedding her alleged lover, a pastor from Luanshya, as the reason for divorcing Mwansa, Kawesha responded: “I don’t know anything about that. And where did you get that information? Who gave you that information?”
When told that the information was obtained from the courts, Kawesha asked, “Do you have the right to do that?” When told that a journalist had the right to get information from the courts, Kawesha, who sounded uneasy on phone, said, “then go back to where you got the same information” before ending the conversation.