A BULAWAYO man feels hard done by the mother of his children and estranged wife after she allegedly stole money meant to buy a family house, fled to the United Kingdom and is reneging on an earlier promise to pay back the stolen cash.
Bowen Chikomba says he was customarily married to Pertunia Khanye and the two have teenage sons but their marriage hit turbulent times in recent years.
When the union hit rock bottom, he moved out of the house while they sought counselling from church elders in the hope of restoring their marriage, he said.
And it was during his absence from the matrimonial home that the alleged theft took place, Chikomba told B-Metro.
“When things started getting better in our marriage, I moved back into our house while our teenage sons attended boarding school. I got in touch with an estate agent who was selling a house that I liked so I asked my wife to give me the US$20 000 that we had been saving so that we could purchase the home.
“To my surprise she said she only had R10 000, which she wanted to use to buy a fridge from South Africa and that’s when our marital problems started again. She moved out of the house with my children to her family home in Pumula at the time we were still fighting over the missing money. I only learnt a few months later that she had relocated to the UK and left my kids in the care of a friend,” Chikomba narrated his ordeal.
A police report under case number CR71/ 01/ 23 was opened by Chikomba on a charge of theft. He has also slapped Khanye with a US$20 000 lawsuit.
His lawyers – Malinga and Mpofu Legal Practitioners – wrote to Khanye demanding payment of the alleged stolen money.
“We are lawyers representing the aforementioned Bowen Chikomba and we are advised that you were once customarily married to our client from whom you admitted stealing a sum of US$20 000 before moving back to your family.
“You then undertook to repay the said money but have since become evasive. In view of your conduct, we have advised our client to lay formal criminal charges against you through the police.
“On the other hand, we are instructed to demand, as we hereby do that, you pay a sum of US$20 000 directly to our offices within five (5) days of receiving this letter together with 10 percent thereof as collection commission.
“Should you fail to pay as above, we shall approach the courts to recover the money together with costs of a suit on a punitive scale,” wrote the lawyers.
When contacted for comment via WhatsApp, Khanye replied curtly: “I don’t respond to such nonsense.”