MUTINTA MULAYE writes
THE Lusaka Boma Local Court has dismissed a case in which Webster Sinakaimbi, 46, of Garden House sued Patricia Nkomponi for divorce because he had not paid the bride price.
The hearing degenerated into a quarrel as Sinakaimbi and Nkomponi could not agree whether he had paid the bride price or not.
The court wanted to establish whether Sinakaimbi had paid dowry before the case could proceed.
Sinakaimbi told senior presiding magistrate Sharon Sichone that he married Nkomponi in 2012 and that they have two children together.
He told the court that he paid K3,000 dowry and there was a balance of K4,000.
He said theirs was a customary marriage.
Nkomponi said her husband had not paid dowry but had only paid damage.
Her brother told the court that what was paid was only for virginity damage and it was even written on paper.
Nkomponi’s mother also told the court Sinakaimbi had only paid for damage.
“We charged him K3,000 for damage. He paid K2,000. At the time he was already staying with my daughter. I charged him K7,000 for dowry and he has not paid anything. When he came to pay the K1,000 balance for damage, he moved out of my daughter’s home,” she said.
Sinakaimbi told the court that after Nkomponi became pregnant, his family asked him if he was going to marry her and he accepted.
“They charged me K12,000 and after negotiations it came to K8,000 and finally K7,000. This was combined for both damage and dowry. I first paid K2,000 and later K1,000. To my knowledge, I was paying for both dowry and damage,” Sinakaimbi said.
He told the court that a meeting was called for both families where Nkomponi’s mother said her daughter could not be married to a poor man.
“I wanted to leave but before I moved out and left Patricia, I was told to pay the K1,000 balance to make it K3,000 for damage,” Sinakaimbi said.
After hearing from Sinakaimbi and from Nkomponi’s sides, it was established that the money Sinakaimbi had paid was for damage and not dowry.
Therefore, marriage was not contracted between the two.
They had merely been cohabiting.
Magistrate Sichone dismissed the application for divorce.
Courts could only dissolve a marriage if it existed.