SUPREME Court judge Nigel Mutuna is demanding partial reimbursement for his children’s school fees from money his ex-wife Christabel Chanda obtained as rental income from their Nyumba Yanga house.
Judge Mutuna has since opposed the directive for property settlement dated May 20, 2014 issued by the High Court deputy registrar saying his ex-wife Chanda was not entitled to any of property granted to her.
He has urged justice Susan Wanjelani to order that Chanda renders an account of the rentals for the Nyumba Yanga property and pay all rentals received to him as partial recompense for the children’s school fees.
Following the couple’s judicial separation, the registrar ordered the matrimonial home, stand number 3322 in Woodlands, be kept by judge Mutuna until the children of the family attain majority age after which the house should be sold and the proceeds be shared, with the petitioner getting 60 per cent and his ex-wife 40 per cent.
The parties were given an option to buy out the other party.
The registrar had directed that judge Mutuna’s ex-wife takes the house at stand no.26615 Nyumba Yanga for her personal use while judge Mutuna would take the plot on Subdivision 3 of Subdivision B of Farm 28a Ibex Hill Lusaka for his personal use.
The registrar further directed that Chanda keeps the rentals for the house in Nyumba Yanga to assist her supplement her rentals.
In his further submissions opposing application for property settlement and in support of the cross appeal, judge Mutuna argued that his ex-wife did not make a prayer on how she wished the property to be settled.
He said Chanda did not produce evidence to justify her claim to the properties for the purported contribution she made towards the purchase of the same.
Justice Mutuna said he outlined his contribution to the purchase of the properties and gave his prayer but the registrar still found merit in his ex-wife’s application.
He said the 50/50 principal of property settlement was meant to achieve equality and fairness between the parties and the division of labour was achieved through men being the breadwinners and women home-makers and child-carers but there was no division of labour in his marriage.
Judge Mutuna said the lack of division of labour in his marriage forced him to divorce Chanda as he became burdened with the responsibility of providing for the family financially, physically and emotionally while his ex-wife was wasteful with her earnings and failed to take care of the home and children.
“The respondent made speculative contentions that she contributed to the purchase of the properties. She alleged that she contributed to the purchase of the property in Nyumba Yanga with her benefits received from her former employer DHL (Zambia) Limited but she fails to produce credible evidence acceptable by this court,” judge Mutuna said. “The petitioner shouldered financial burden of acquiring the properties without the support of the respondent who was at the material time in gainful employment and had capacity to contribute financially. Her salary also included a component of housing allowance.”
Judge Mutuna contended that notwithstanding her failure to prove that she contributed to the purchase of the property in Nyumba Yanga, she has remained in control of the same.
“From the time the Nyumba Yanga property was purchased in 2002, the respondent has been receiving rentals for 19 years now. The rentals were supposed to be directed towards the children’s school fees but Chanda consumed it,” he said.
Judge Mutuna contended that it was a misdirection on the part of the deputy registrar to meet his ex-wife’s welfare and order further maintenance