Malawi courts are getting an increase in the number of women dragging their husbands over the upkeep of children, it has been reported.
The increase in the number of maintenance cases has been attributed to a number of factors among them lack of responsibility by men who abandon their families, the general economic situation and greed on the part of some women who, Mbewe said, go as far as seeking child maintenance from as many as three men at once.
A majority of women who have opened maintenance cases in court were girlfriends and the “MG2’s” – second wives.
Mzuzu Child Court Magistrate, George Mbewe, reported that from January to November 2016, 301 cases about child maintenance have been registered, representing 99 per cent of all the cases registered in the court.
“I tend to wonder why this increase. To me, this is either there’s an increase in marriage break-ups or increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancies,” he said.
He said 45 cases in a single month of October is alarming and retrogressive.
Coming second in the number of cases handled by the court are those that relate to women seeking court protection as a result of abuse from their spouses.
Mzuzu Child Magistrate Court registered 99 such cases from January to November, 2016, according to Mbewe.
He added that the court had so far registered 12 defilement cases from January to November, this year, saying there was expectation that the figures would rise to about 20 by the end of December as some cases are still in court.
However, Mbewe said the rise in these cases does not necessarily translate to an increase in defilement, saying there are other factors to consider.
“There is a possibility that the increase could be due to a push in defilement age from 13 to 16.
“At the same time, a lot of civic education has been done on defilement so the increase could be because people are now reporting these cases,” he noted.
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