A 41-year-old man has refused to have sex with his wife for 10 months because he fears she might conceive and increase the number of children, escalating the burden of looking after them.

Jubert Tshuma and wife Prisca Saiti, 34, have two children aged eight and two. Tshuma was in April this year dragged to the Maintenance Court by Saiti for failing to provide for the children and was supposed to pay $60 per month for their upkeep. He failed to pay.

Saiti complained to Victoria Falls magistrate Sharon Rosemani in the Maintenance Court on Friday that her husband had refused to have sex with her for the past 10 months – his excuse being he feared he would impregnate her and have more children.

"For 10 months we have had no sex. He avoids me claiming if we sleep together we might have another child and he would not be able to provide for the child since he is struggling with the two we have," said Saiti who has two other children from her previous marriage.

Asked about the issue after court, Saiti said Tshuma would sometimes turn violent trying to force her out of their customary marriage.

"He says if he sleeps with me he might make me pregnant and he doesn't want that because he cannot afford to take care of many children," said Saiti.

"We have been married for 10 years but he did not pay lobola to my parents. I am just staying with him because we have children together but the problem now is his parents want him to marry another woman. His mother has always wanted me to leave and at some point my husband beat me up and fractured my arm trying to evict me over a girlfriend."

Saiti said she was willing to drop the maintenance case if her husband could change his behaviour and provide for the family or agree to move out from their lodgings at Mkhosana township.

Coming to court, Tshuma was charged with failure to pay maintenance after being ordered to pay $60 per month for the two children in April this year.

He failed to pay resulting in a warrant of arrest against him and he told the court that he could not afford the money since he only made $20 per month from his job as an assistant builder.

Rosemani sentenced him to two months which were commuted to 70 hours of community service at the Victoria Falls magistrates' courts starting yesterday.

"I would rather not sleep with her because if I do, we will have another child and I won't be able to provide for the child," Tshuma told the magistrate.

Outside court Tshuma said: "We are failing to agree on a number of issues. I am not working and at some point she came from the rural areas and dumped the children and went away. As for not sleeping with her, it could be true because she was in the rural areas for most of the time and you know sometimes that if you are stressed there are some things you cannot do. I am struggling so I am afraid of having more children."

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