FORMER Chilanga member of parliament Keith Mukata is seeking an interim child protection order against his wife Maricho, claiming that the safety of their four children is at risk as she has gone into hiding with them.
He says Maricho is unfit and incapable of taking care of the children as she spends most of her time partying and coming home late in the wee hours of the following day.
In this matter, Maricho Rosin Horea has petitioned Mukata for divorce in the Lusaka High Court for denying her conjugal rights.
Maricho is praying to the court to grant her judicial separation as her marriage to Mukata has broken down irretrievably.
She also wants the court to grant her custody of the four children born out of the marriage.
Maricho explained that since Mukata was pardoned for murder by former president Edgar Lungu he has deserted their home and never returned to re-unite with her and their children.
She alleged that Mukata has been sending his agents to threaten her and has used his personal security guards to accuse her of assault.
But Mukata, in his affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an interim protection order, said his wife was incapable of taking care of their children as she had kept them out of school for a long period despite ensuring that their school fees were fully paid.
“She has failed to ensure that the children are properly dressed and that they carry food to school and she fails to provide general upkeep both at home and school,”Mukata submitted.
“The academic performance of the children has drastically reduced as Maricho doesn’t participate in the children’s schooling.”
He said further that his wife had exposed the children on social media and referred to a video posted on her Facebook page on October 14, 2021 where she was seen scolding the guard with one of the children in the background.
“The petitioner maintains late night at home and spends most of the time partying setting a bad example for the children. Sometimes the petitioner comes home as late as 02:00hours in the morning,” Mukata said. “After the Petitioner served the said petition on me, she has since vacated her residence with all our children. I am in constant fear as to the safety of my children and their whereabouts as I don’t know where they are. I believe that the safety of these children is at risk.”
He said such factors had prompted him to obtain an interim protection order against Maricho until the court determined the custody of the children.
However, Maricho in an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for an order of interim injunction, insisted that in October Mukata reported her to Matero police station alleging that she had stolen a Toyota Quantum registration No. ALZ 8333 which is registered in her name.
She alleged that Mukata sends his agents to attack her at home.
“The respondent has never come home to be with me and the children of the family since he was pardoned but sent his agents to disconnect water pipes and causing unnecessary confusion by instructing our personal security guard not to open the gate whenever I want to drive out,” Maricho said. “October 6, the guard denied me to exit my yard when I wanted to take the children of the family to school. When I questioned why, the guard reported me for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, a matter which is now active before honourable Stanford Ngobola of the Lusaka magistrate court.”
She stated that she wrote letters to inform the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning the harassment by Matero police officers.
The petitioner said since September, Mukata has been going to the children’s schools and delivering food without her consent and she only gets reports from the children.
“The vehicle is impounded by police… I use the said impounded bus for my income to feed and meeting the needs of children of the family. But since it was impounded by the police I have been having difficulties to meet the required needs for the children of the family,” Maricho explained.
“I have been severely injured in my credit and reputation and have been brought into scandal and contempt. Unless restrained, Mukata will continue threatening my life.”
She requested that Mukata, his relatives , agents and employees must not go near her home and work place and must not communicate with her in any form until the matter is settled in court.
“I pray that the interim injunction be granted,” said Maricho.