A MUTARE man who has been failing to contribute towards the upkeep of his two children has blamed the ongoing national lockdown for his financial woes.
Timothy Zhou dragged his baby mama to court as he was applying for maintenance dismissal.
Zhou ran a car wash facility in the Central Business District before the commencement of the national lockdown.
He argued that since he is now out of employment, he has had to relocate to his Chitakatira rural home as he can no longer afford city life and the bills that come with it.
Zhou and Patience Mapofu appeared before Mutare magistrate, Mr Lazarus Murendo.
“This is a special case, Your Worship. I now stay in the village and I will be very grateful if the court exempts me from paying the $1 600 maintenance that I had previously been ordered to pay. I am now a pauper. I had to borrow the bus fare to come to this court,” claimed Zhou.
He suggested that for the time being, his children should rely on their mother.
“The lockdown has badly affected me. I propose that Patience should take over the burden of caring for the children until the lockdown is over. When I am able to run my business as usual, I promise to pay the money,” pleaded Zhou.
When Mr Murendo told Zhou that the exemption could not be granted as his children’s needs could not be deferred, he begged for a downward variation of the maintenance figure to $500 per month.
Mr Murendo agreed to the proposed $500.
However, Mapofu indicated that the money will not be adequate to cover the children’s needs.
“The children need school fees, food, clothes, rentals, medication and $500 is too little. It is not even enough to pay one child’s school fees Your Worship,” said Mpofu.