Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Divorce Court

The Divorce Court

The judge leant towards the beautiful woman sitting in front of him. ‘Zambiana,’ he said in a kindly voice, ‘please explain to the court why you are seeking a divorce from this man.’

Tears welled into her eyes as she tried to explain. ‘Your honour, this man has ruined me. When my first husband died, his last wish was that I should marry the farm manager. He said that Nyamasoya was the right man to look after me and the family farm. So I respected my husband’s dying wish, even though my relatives warned me that he was not to be trusted. But they were right. He has stolen everything and left me destitute.’

The judge now turned to Nyamasoya. ‘Is this true?’

‘Your honour, it is the exact opposite of the truth. The late Muwelewele would be proud of the way I have developed the farm. I have gone into production of jhathropa for export, installed an irrigation system, invested in planting and harvesting machinery, and the annual turnover is now ten million dollars a year. When I took over it was just a subsistence operation, they were just scratching around with chickens, vegetables and a few pigs.’

The puzzled judge now turned to Zambiana. ‘There seem to be two very different sides to this story. Is the farm prosperous or ruined?’

‘Both, your honour,’ said Zambian sadly. ‘All this development was done with borrowed money. He has borrowed more than the value of the farm, which is now run by the Ching Chang people from whom he borrowed the money. All the money from sales goes straight to the Ching Chang for repayment of the loan. In the meantime all my relatives and workers on the farm are starving and dying. We are destitute.’

The baffled judge now turned back to Nyamasoya. ‘Is this true?’

Nyamasoya now treated the judge to a broad and genial smile. ‘Of course it is true, your honour. It is entirely normal to borrow money against the value of the land in order to invest in development...’

‘Yes yes,’ interrupted the judge irritably, ‘but is it true that all Zambiana’s workers and relatives are now destitute?’

‘I am in the awkward position having to contradict my dear wife,’ smiled Nyamasoya, ‘but she has little understanding of business. That’s why the late asked me to take charge. As a matter of fact, when I first took over, everybody on the farm was unemployed. But I have now given them all jobs.’

The judge now turned to Zambiana with a weary smile. ‘It seems that all your workers and relatives are fully employed. From what your husband has told us, we imagine that people on neighbouring farms must be jealous of your prosperity!’

Now Zambiana stood up shaking with rage, pointing at Nyamasoya. ‘This man has stolen our farm. They were once all self-employed farmers, growing their own food in a mixed farming operation and selling the surplus to the late. Now Nyamasoya has rented the land to the Ching Chang and all the farmers have now become wage labourers on what was once their own farm. They are paid only five pins a day, and they cannot eat jhathropa. We are all destitute.’

‘I notice,’ said the judge, ‘that your husband is dressed in a very smart suit, and arrived at this court in a new Mercedes. This appearance doesn’t seem to tally with your story of poverty and destititution.’

‘Him!’ shouted Zambiana, ‘the Ching Chang allow him to keep 10% of everything, so that they can externalize all of the remainder to Hung Hong. Nyamasoya is busy buying a farm in the Bahamas while the rest of us are starving.’

‘I also notice,’ said the judge, smiling at the beautiful Zambiana, ‘that you are wearing a very nice new blue chitenge, which I must say suits you very well.’

‘It’s the first time in years that my husband has bought me anything,’ sobbed Zambiana. ‘But he saw the danger of my appearing here in my usual worn out rags.’

‘I wonder if there is not more to this dispute than meets the eye,’ said the judge. ‘How are the marital relations between the two of you?’

‘There you’ve put your finger on it!’ shouted Nyamasoya. ‘She never wanted me, she was just following instructions from the late departed. But now she has fallen for some smoothy from the big city, a dubious character called Cycle Mata!’

‘Is there any truth in this story?’ asked the judge, as he turned towards Zambiana.

She blushed and cast her eyes down. ‘Yes, your honour. He doesn’t shout at me or insult me. He listens to me. He loves me. He doesn’t steal from me. He’s the one I want.’

‘I have come to a decision,’ declared the judge. ‘You, Nyamasoya, should not attempt to cling on where you’re not wanted. I grant Zambiana a divorce, and further order that the farm must be returned to her as the rightful owner. I further declare that Nyamasoya should be investigated for attempting to steal the farm when he was only given the job of looking after it.’

As Nyamasoya strode angrily from the court, the judge turned to smile at Zambiana. ‘Well, there you are my dear. What are you going to do now?’

‘I’m going to marry Cycle Mata,’ she replied. ‘He’s going to manage my farm properly!’

The judge put his head in his hands. Then he looked up, and there were tears in his eyes. ‘My dear Zambiana,’ he said softly, ‘I hope you’re making the right decision.’


  1. I sure hope Zambiana is making the right decision............when a man wants to get his hooks into any girl, he'll most definately be so sensitive to her needs and wants...........but that may not always be a true picture of what that man is really made of.like it is said, Not All That Glitters Is GOLD!!!!!!!

  2. And that is the correct account of where Zambiana is at this stage...though the Judge should have sent Nyamasoya into a holding cell pending appearance in court for Corruption charges as he might just do a disappearing act.

  3. Seems like Poor Zambiana has suffered the misfortune of having good quality leadership. In my view her notion of letting others manager her affairs on her behalf has not done much good, her change of mindset that she needs husbands. Ideally electing people to run her farm could work but history has it that letting these people step on the fruitful fields of her farm has lead many turn greedy and betray her instead. If only it were possible for Zambiana to be her own boss and the fruits of her labour shall be trod by her alone.