A Magistrates Court in Zambia has heard how two men paid dowry for the same woman and are now fighting over who should be her legitimate husband.
Before magistrate Allan Samabi was Fwanyanga Fwanyanga, 37, and Minjeje Mufuka, who is in his 50s.
They are both claiming to have paid dowry for Kombelwa Milinga, 34.
Mr Fwanyanga had sued Mr Mufuka in a local court for adultery for having an affair with his wife, Kombelwa.
But Mr Mufuka argued then that he was also entitled to enjoying some intimate time with the woman because he had paid lobola for her.
He has now appealed to the magistrate against the judgment of the local court, where he was charged K8,000 as compensation for adultery.
The local court passed judgment on January 12, 2017, at which Mr Mufuka was ordered to compensate Mr Fwanyanga in monthly instalments of K1,500.
However, Mr Mufuka has appealed against the judgment arguing that he did not commit adultery by “sleeping” with Kombelwa because he is legally married to her.
He told the court that he married Kombelwa early this year after paying an undisclosed amount of money as dowry to her uncle only identified as Mr Ndongi.
Mr Mufuka said he proceeded to pay dowry for Kombelwa as he was told that she had divorced her husband.
But Mr Fwanyanga, who has four children with Kombelwa, said as far as he is concerned, the marriage between the two does not hold because he and his wife had not divorced.
He said he married Kombelwa in 2003 and that they went on separation in 2015, but later reconciled and started living together again the same year.
“I was charged K1,500 when we reconciled with my wife as per Lozi tradition and the claims by Mufuka are unfounded,’’ he said.
One of Mr Fwanyanga’s witnesses, Wakungunyi Daka, 42, testified that Mr Mufuka only paid the dowry after Mr Fwanyanga sued him.
?aka said Mr Mufuka was sued by Fwanyanga after allegedly being found committing adultery with Kombelwa on two occasions, on December 4 and 17, 2016.
“On December 17, 2016, I was one of the persons present when Kombelwa was found in the house of Mr Mufuka at the harbour around 05:00 hours.
“After realising that they had been caught, Kombelwa tried to escape through a hole at the back of the thatched house, but Fwanyanga caught her,” he said.
Mr Daka said the claim by Mr Mufuka that he had married Kombelwa was not true because the dowry he paid to the woman’s uncle was not recognised in the Lozi tradition.
He said under Lozi tradition, only the family of the woman has the right to discuss marriage rights with in-laws.
Magistrate Samabi adjourned the matter to July 16, 2017 for continued hearing to allow Mr Fwanyanga to organise the remaining witnesses.
The case has attracted a lot of interest among Mongu residents who are eagerly waiting to see how it will conclude.
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