Increase in number of Malawi women taking husbands to court over child maintenance

Malawi courts are getting an increase in the number of women dragging their husbands over the upkeep of children, it has been reported.

Woman heading to court for child maintenance claims

Woman heading to court for child maintenance claims

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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I wish Malawi Court was treating these cases the same way they do with all other cases. If Men default payment of child maintenance costs without valid and verifiable reasons, it is not taken as CONTEMPT OF COURT. But when one fail to honour the ruling of the court judicial officers rush to order an arrest for contempt of court. Its time women and children in Malawi must be fully protected by the law. The court must rise from its slumber and protect vulnerable women and children.

siphelele mthembu

nde winawake akufuna lamulo lokakamiza amayi kusunga mimba zoti sakuzifuna. ma results ake ndi amenewa. pangani lamulo loti amayi azikhala ndi ufulu wosankha kukhala ndi mwana kapena ayi!!!!!!!



Mika Kumbire
But Malawian men have also been left off the hook for too long. They need to take responsibility for their actions. Man and Boys in Malawi just impregnate girls and women and walkaway scot-free. This is causing an increase in school dropouts, poverty and suffering. Too many men in Malawi want to be males but not fathers. In countries like Botswana or Lesotho you really have to think twice before impregnating anyone. As someone who has the burden of taking care of fatherless kids I say; increase the penalties and everyone who stops giving child maintenance must be jailed immediately.… Read more »

This is not about marriage it is about getting men to be responsible. During relationship there was frequent exchanges of money and materials why should it end now? Rather it must triple because there is a human being born who needs support and care.

Kakumba mjira katama mano; walira mvula walira matope; wakwatiwa kwa mphenzi saopa kukwanipa

Courts get them pay!!!! Innocent children should not supper because of irresponsible fathers and mothers.


women of today are taking private parts as business. they do not want to listen to words of wisdom. that marriage it not about money bt mutual understanding and respect. God will judge them one day.

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