W H E N S a m s o n M u b i t a discovered love messages on his wife’s mobile phone, he knew somebody had stolen his heart and he wanted compensation. His wife, Martha Gonde, 31, was entertaining a Chinese man, Cheng Jiansheng, 35.
A n d i n t h e C h a w a m a Local Court, Cheng admitted exchanging love messages with Martha, but expressed ignorance about her marital status. He told the court last Friday that he was only good friends with Gonde and that from time to time she would go to his home to cook and wash for him. But Mubita told the court that Martha once told him that she was going to nurse her mother at the hospital when in fact she went to spend a night at Cheng’s place. “We even fought over the same messages.
My wife even told me that Cheng is her lover and that he will kill me,” he said. But Martha’s father, Ezekiya Gonde, added a twist to the story. He testified that Mubita had been cohabiting with his daughter for 10 years because he did not pay bride price. “Mubita eloped with my daughter. He did not appear before my family so that we formalise the process of marriage.
I had charged him for elopement but he also did not pay,” he said. And with that, the magistrate, Lewis Mumba, dismissed Mubita’s claim for compensation for adultery on grounds that bride price was not paid. But Mubita’s relatives could not have it. They got up and started exchanging words with the bench. The family accused Gonde of having been bribed by Cheng, so they can tell the court that Mubita did not pay bride price. “We paid the money to this man, we even have a go-between who went to pay bride price,” Mubita’s sister said.
But the court advised the family to appeal on grounds that it had already passed judgement. The family walked out of the courtroom in anger and started calling Gonde a prostitute. But when Gonde answered back, Mubita’s family surrounded her and almost beat her up. Martha Gonde was roughed up and verbally abused outside the Chawama local court. Martha was only rescued by her father