Romantic relationships are complicated and they sometimes become more complex when one partner wants more from the relationship than the other.
The Breach of Promise is a common law tort that lets a person file a case against someone who has failed to live up to a promise. It has been abolished in many jurisdictions. Taking extreme measures to get clarity about her relationship, a 26-year-old woman in Zambia has dragged her boyfriend to court so that she gets to know his plans for the future, reported Daily Mail quoting Zambian news agency Mwebantu.
Gertrude Ngoma is in a romantic relationship with 28-year-old Herbert Salaliki for the last eight years. The couple has a child together as well.
According to Gertrude, Herbert promised to marry her. However, she doubts his loyalty after he caught him texting another woman. She said, “He has never been serious, that is why I bought him to court because I deserve to know the way forward and our future.”
Defending himself, Herbert said that he wants to marry Gertrude but cannot afford to do that. He said there is a lack of communication between the two and he believes Gertrude is not affectionate towards him. Herbert has already paid lobola which is similar to bride service. In Zambia, Lobola is an ‘appreciation fee’ which is given to the family of the bride by the man as an assurance that the groom is going to take care of his wife.
It is noteworthy that in Zambia, there have been protests against lobola and there was a demand for its abolition. Critics say that it amounts to paying a price for the bride which then makes it acceptable for the husband to treat her the way he wants. However, lobola is still widely prevalent in the country.
Although lobola has been paid, the couple still live separately with Gertrude living with her parents. The family of three hasn’t lived together ever. Gertrude believes that Herbert is not interested in getting married despite paying lobola. Herbert insists that he is not financially stable enough to afford a wedding.
The judge who was presiding over this case said that Gertrude could sue for breach of marriage contract. However, Judge Evelyn Nalwize of the Kabushi Local Court said that authorities can do little more than intervening. It was ruled that the couple should try to reconcile their differences outside of court.