A pastor from Cowdray Park in Bulawayo has been sentenced to three months in jail over maintenance arrears.
A court heard that Gordon Ncube (45) had a maintenance order granted against him in April this year, ordering him to pay $137 per month for the upkeep of his three children.
Ncube had not paid anything since the date the order was granted.
In August, he paid and remained with a $213 shortfall.
He pleaded guilty to failure to pay maintenance.
The magistrate, Miss Evelyn Mashavakure, sentenced Ncube to three months in prison, wholly suspended on condition that he paid $213 before October 15 this year.
“Your Worship, I am sorry for the arrears that I have accumulated.
“I wish to give my children a better life but I do not have any source of income.
“I live on donations in kind and the little amounts that people bring as offering,” said Ncube.
He told the court that he realises about $150 a month.
“From that amount Your Worship I pay rentals of $40 where I stay and $60 where we fellowship. So I am left with $50 which has to cater for my groceries and bills. I am trying all that I can to pay up maintenance for my children.”
Miss Mashavakure said it was mandatory for him to look after his children.
“You being employed or not is not your children’s problem. As a father you are supposed to take responsibility for your children. A court gave you that order and if you had realised you could no longer afford, you should have come back and applied for a downward variation,” she said.
Mr Nkathazo Dlodlo prosecuted. herald