A priest with the Anglican Church in Bulawayo has been dragged before the courts of law by his estranged wife for allegedly failing to provide for his three children.

Ruramai Madava took her former husband and leader of the Anglican Church at St Columba’s Parish in Makokoba, Manda Chimbaza, to the civil court for reportedly failing to provide for, or neglecting their three children, aged nine, 11 and 18 in the past ten months.

Chimbaza (main picture) is also an employee with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

The man-of-the-cloth has reportedly been failing to pay the $380 per month which was initially agreed to cater for the welfare of his children but Madava is now seeking an upward review of $10 000 owing to the rise in the cost of living, attributable to the impotence of the local currency.

Bulawayo provincial magistrate in charge of Bulawayo Metropolitan province, Enias Mugate presided over the matter.

“I am applying for an upward variation from $380 to $10 000 in respect of the three children aged nine, 11 and 18. This is because the cost of living has gone up so the money, he was asked to pay in 2014 is no longer enough. I haven’t received the money since November last year and the arrears have since accumulated to $3 800,” Madava told the court.

According to Madava, her former husband was failing to provide for the upkeep of his children despite him being a staffer with an Authority responsible for the collection of taxes on behalf of the Zimbabwe Government- Zimra.

But Chimbaza, in turn, said he could not manage the $10 000 that his estranged wife has been demanding, saying the amount is ‘too high’, considering the fact that his monthly earnings are pegged at $20 000.

Instead, the priest who argues that he is of ill-health, offered to pay $6 000 per month for the maintenance of his children.

“Since the start of national lockdown, I had been sending her $503 via Ecocash each time my children told me that they have no food. I am a good father and I wanted to be one. I, however, have other three children I am taking care of, a minor, a 19-year-old who is doing Advanced Level and another one who is at Gwanda State University. I am also taking care of the major ones’ needs regardless of their ages,” said the priest.

Chimbaza also submitted that he has a lot of responsibilities including paying for a residential stand and also for the two courses he has been studying with the Catholic University.

He further claimed that, when combined, his monthly expenses exceed $40 000.

“May the court also consider that I am also paying $2 800 towards a housing stand. I’m also diabetic and per month I use about $10 000 towards my medication. She (Madava) recently lost her father and I had to borrow money to help with burial expenses. I am also doing two courses, a degree at Catholic University and a diploma all in an effort to upgrade myself. My expenses combined exceed $42 000 per month and that is why I say I can afford $6 000 per month,” said Chimbaza.

The magistrate, in his ruling, discharged the upkeep of the child who turned 18 while asking the priest that he commits a monthly payment of $8 500 to cater for the welfare of the other two minor children with effect from end of October.

state media
additional reporting: Zwnews