I’ve only covered the courthouse beat a few times in my career, when other reporters have had the day off and I’ve had to fill in. But from the looks of the “From the Local Courts” page in the Sunday Mail, it’s a Springeresque job in Lusaka. In this week’s set of news briefs:

- “Woman fined for marriage interference”: “A 26-year-old woman has been ordered by the Chingola local court to pay K400,000 (around US$80) as compensation for marriage interference…This was found after the court found [the 26-year-old] guilty of interfering in the marriage of [the wronged woman] by flirting with her husband.”

- Two other stories I’ll mention only by the headlines: “‘I impregnated my friend’s wife’” and “Two women claim one man as husband.” (In the latter, one woman accuses the other of being an unfair temptress because she hung around the man in question while wearing a schoolgirl uniform. Zambian men, like their Japanese colleagues, apparently find schoolgirl uniforms extremely attractive — this keeps coming up throughout my research.)

- And finally, my personal favorite: “Man vows never to reconcile with wife.” I hope someday to write an opening paragraph this compelling:

“A man vowed not to reconcile with his wife because he does not know where she took his three underpants.”

The story continues: “[Husband Borniface] Mwanza told the court that his wife was fond of going to her parents whenever they quarreled and that she stayed away for many weeks. He said that on one such occasion when his wife went to her parents, he discovered that his three underwear were missing. He said that no one bus his wife could have taken them.

“Mwanza said he also did not want to reconcile with [wife Lizzy] Mwewa because she was lazy and did not do domestic chores as would be expected of a wife. Mwanza said at one time his short went missing and that he found it with one of his wife’s brothers.”

Mwewa, for her part says hubby was “a womanizer who took women to their matrimonial home whenever she went out. Mwewa said Mwanza did not want her because she was thin and short. ‘My husband told me that he wanted to marry a fat and tall woman. He packed my belongings and told me to go to my relatives,’ she said.”

Unsurprisingly, the court determined this marriage could not be saved and ordered Mwanza to pay his now ex-wife K1,500,000 (about $300) in alimony and child support.

Don’t cry for Mwanza, though, as his quest for a hefty lady has apparently been successful: “He told the court that he did not marry another woman but he was in the process of doing so.”

20 October 2003


21 October | 0:14  |  Jennifer

I am SO glad I practice law in the U.S.

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© 2003 Joshua Benton