The Herald (Harare)

2 October 2011

Zimbabwe: Woman Jailed for Contempt of Court

A WOMAN, who appeared in court in a drunken stupor last week and defied the magistrate, was slapped with a 60-day jail term for contempt of court.

Patience Useya had appeared before Chitungwiza magistrate, Mr Elijah Makomo, facing charges of violating a peace order.

Mr Makomo warned Useya not to continue breaching the peace order issued before, barring her from visiting her former boyfriend's place. But Useya, in her drunken state that was noticed by Mr Makomo, retorted: "I will continue to visit him since the baby I have needs its father".

Mr Makomo then warned Useya not to act antagonistically as that would result in her paying a fine or being sent to prison. But she replied in a manner that indicated that she was ready to pay the fine and even go to jail.

"How much is the fine?" she asked.

"And if it is a prison term, how long is it?

Mr Makomo then slapped Useya with a 60-day jail term for showing no remorse before the court. On realising the gravity of the issue, Useya burst into tears while she was being whisked away by prison officers.

On the charges of breaching the peace order, the court heard that Useya was on separation with her husband. She was then involved in a love affair with Shupai Murisa's husband that culminated in pregnancy.

But Useya then reconciled with her husband when she was already pregnant.

By the time she conceived, Useya would visit Murisa's house, where she would shout obscenities and insult the couple. This forced Murisa to apply for a peace order, since she could not contain the insults.

Useya continued visiting the couple despite being barred by the courts.

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