HARARE – Dendera musician Suluman Chimbetu’s protracted battles with ex-wife Marygold Mutemasango took another twist yesterday when he was dragged before a Harare magistrate yesterday for allegedly failing to pay maintenance, now running into $4 000 arrears.
Chimbetu pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate Amanda Muridzo. He was remanded to January 31 on $50 bail.
It is the State’s case that on December 19, 2016, a Harare Civil Court magistrate ordered Chimbetu to pay $800 maintenance in respect of his minor children Simeon Chimbetu and Sulumeni Chimbetu.
Chimbetu defaulted in paying maintenance between May 30 and October 31, 2017.
The state alleges that the Sean Timba hit-maker only paid $400 in installments of $200, starting on August 2 2017 and another $200 installment on September 11, 2017.
Chimbetu is now in total arrears of $4 400, it is alleged.
The fresh accusations come after Chimbetu in December successfully applied for the downward variation of his maintenance fees from $800 to $400 for the upkeep of the two minor children he sired with Mutemasango.
The Harare civil court conceded to Chimbetu’s demands, saying it would be unfair not to revise the fees downwards given the harsh economic environment.
The 35-year-old dendera musician has two children with Mutemasango and claimed he could no longer afford the astronomical payments given the worsening economic hardships.
Sulu — who wed his long time girlfriend Linda Samuriwo, with whom he also has a child — claimed he makes approximately $750 monthly and has filed court documents asking to reduce the payments.
The Sean Timba hit-maker also said he had become the sole breadwinner at his home after his wife lost her job in August.
She used to earn $700 and Sulu said she used to assist with other expenses.
That application for variation came three months after Chimbetu was fined $100 for failure to pay maintenance after delaying sending the money to his ex-wife.