A self-proclaimed prophet, who was dragged to court for failing to pay maintenance for his four children, stunned a court when he said he thought child upkeep was a once off payment.
Edison Mashambe of Johane Masowe Church in Bulawayo said he was not aware he was supposed to make payment for the upkeep of his children every month.
He pleaded guilty to failure to pay maintenance before Western Commonage Magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube.
“I was not aware that I had to pay every month, I only thought it was a once off thing,” said Mashambe.
His estranged wife Ms Evelyn Sibanda was demanding $500 which Mashambe had not paid since 2017.
“We had an agreement with Mashambe that he had to pay for the children’s upkeep but l was surprised as he went silent after only one payment,” said Ms Sibanda.
“What pains me most is that l’m struggling to raise these children when they have a father who can afford them a good life,” Ms Sibanda added.
Mashambe pleaded with the court for time to pay his debt.
“May l be forgiven and be given time to pay off my debt because l did not know what was expected of me,” pleaded Mashambe.
Mr Nathan Marime, prosecuting, told the court that Mashambe was also facing a charge of not coming to court the first time he was told to do so.
He defended himself by telling the court he had to attend to his ill father and a client, resulting in his failure to attend court.
The magistrate sentenced Mashambe to 90 days in prison and ordered him to pay off the $500 and $10 to the court.
He said if Mashambe failed to pay, he would face more time in prison.