FORMER UPND Chilanga member of parliament Keith Mukata has denied behaving unreasonably in his marriage, saying it was impossible to satisfy his wife sexually as he was incarcerated at Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility in Kabwe.
He says the law does not allow conjugal rights to prisoners.
Mukata, who consented to divorcing his wife, claimed that Maricho had and was still engaged in extra marital affairs currently with Mubanga Kafula who had not spared a moment to disparage him on social media and through his children and workers.
Maricho Hoare has petitioned Mukata for divorce in the Lusaka High Court for denying her conjugal rights.
She is praying to the court to grant her judicial separation as her marriage to Mukata has broken down irretrievably.
Maricho also wants the court to grant her custody of the four children born out of the marriage.
She explained that since Mukata was pardoned for murder by former president Edgar Lungu in August 2021, her husband had deserted their home and never returned to re-unite with her and their children.
She alleged that Mukata had been sending his agents to threaten her and had used his personal security guards to accuse her of assault.
But Mukata in his answer and cross petition said during his incarceration there was no room for a conversation with his wife owing to Maricho’s irresponsible behaviour towards him.
Mukata, who accused his wife of adultery, claimed that Maricho did not spend nights at home and left the children alone with no one to babysit them.
He alleged that Maricho attempted to defraud him by erasing his name from contracts for the purchase of property they jointly owned.
“After the respondent’s release from prison, the respondent has never been in contact with the petitioner either verbally, in person or through agents. The only contact made to the petitioner was through her relatives for the purpose of holding family meetings to look into their problems, unfortunately the petitioner’s family denied the respondent’s family such audience stating that they would meet head on,” Mukata explained. “The respondent would not even approach the home he built in 2001 for reasons that he was apprehensive since Maricho and her family were not giving any room to have discussions over their problems.”
Mukata said he engaged the Victim Support Unit at Matero police who invited Maricho for a meeting and she refused to attend, but instead hired a lawyer who called Matero police asking them to stop harassing their client.
He denied issuing threats to his wife and justified that the charge of assault which she was facing was as a result of her own volition.
Mukata admitted that the marriage had broken down irretrievably but not on reasons given by Maricho.
“The petitioner has behaved in such a way that the respondent cannot reasonably be expected to live with her,” he submitted.
Mukata said in September 2020, Maricho fraudulently transferred into her name a minibus belonging to Windows Premier Bakeries where he is the majority shareholder.
He said in February 2021, Maricho attempted to fraudulently transfer into her name the farm situated on Kasupe Road, Lusaka West which they jointly own.
Mukata alleged that Maricho abandoned the children of the family during his incarceration and lived extravagantly at his expense and that of their children.
“On December 28, 2020, Maricho threw a lavish party at Radisson Blue Hotel and spent 30,000 on her accommodation, food and beer for her friends when the children had no food at home,” he said.
Mukata charged that his wife ran down the business financed by him due to reckless spending.
“Maricho has been receiving money from a man of Lebanese origin called Jamal whom she claims to be an old lover and on December 28, 2020 she received K10,000 from him,” he said.
Mukata said in January 2021, Jamal took Maricho’s Land Rover for repair in Chalala area and settled her bill.
He submitted that Jamal now owns the same car which was registered under his company, Agro Link Investments, which Maricho tricked him to donate to some church but it somehow found itself in possession of her former boyfriend.
He further said in April 2021, Maricho told one of the guards during an altercation that Mukata was in prison and as good as dead and that she was the one who issued orders which they should follow and not him.
Mukata is equally praying that the marriage be dissolved.
He wants an order for property settlement and that he be granted full custody of their four children with reasonable access to Maricho.
But in her reply to Mukata’s answer and cross petition, Maricho insisted that Mukata was given a chance to have sex with her in prison in the office of the officer-in-charge at both Lusaka Central Correctional Facility (Chimbokaila) and Mukobeko Maximum Correctional Facility.
Maricho said she has a fourth child who is three years old with Mukata whom she conceived during the sexual encounters at every prison visit whilst Mukata was on death row.
She said Mukata had lied in his answer and cross petition that she had been living a lavish lifestyle and engaged in extra marital affairs.