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‘Co-habiting couple cannot divorce’

CEASAR MBEWE writes

@SunZambian

NON-PAYMENT of dowry has forced a Lusaka local court to dismiss an application for divorce by a woman because the two were merely cohabiting.

Martin Nkhoma,31, a truck driver and businessman of Kanyama compound was sued by his wife Maureen Nachilima, 29, a marketeer of the same locality for cheating on her with her neighbor.

Particulars of the case are the two have been living together since 2017, and have one child together although dowry was not paid to formalize their marriage.

Nachilima told Kanyama Local Court magistrate Mubukwanu Matakala how her husband has been cheating on her ever since they began to live together and how he sexually abused her.

“My husband has been cheating on me and sexually abusing me ever since we got married. There are some days when he would demand for sex while I’m on my periods and if I refuse he leaves the house and comes the next day, that’s why I want a divorce,” Nachilima said.

In his defence, Nkhoma denied ever cheating or sexually abusing Nachilima, saying she was a problem and he never wanted to marry her in the first place.

But Magistrate Matakala noted that the couple had serious issues but he could not pass judgment because there was not marriage to talk about as the two were merely cohabiting since dowry was not paid.

He advised Nachilima to go her family to consult the best way forward to deal with the issue.

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