A LOCAL court in Lusaka has ordered a woman to pay K1, 300 to a named school, the money she owed a school in her children’s unpaid school fees. Senior magistrate, Sharon Sichone ordered Ms. Jane Ngoma, 26, of Chainda Compound, to pay the money she has been owing the named school since October, 2018. Ms. Ngoma was sued by the school manager, Mr Kennedy Sichalwe, 29, of Avondale, for failing to clear the balance on her children’s school fees despite her children having been allowed to attend school the whole of term three. Mr. Sichalwe said that Ms. Ngoma had failed to settle the debt despite being given enough time to look for the money. He said that, “She has always been giving me excuses. One time she told me she had gone to Botswana for business or she had used all her money on a nursing course she was attending.” “There has just been promises but no money to date. It’s like she is indirectly refusing to pay,’ Mr Sichalwe stated. But Ms. Ngoma said she had not refused to pay the debt and that he had informed him that the children will not attend school the following term because she was still owing. Ms. Ngoma told Mr. Sichalwe that she could not pay because her husband was not working but was in and out of hospital due to sickness. “I will pay once I start working,” she assured. Mr Sichalwe however stated that Ms Ngoma had not informed him or the school about her husband’s health and that she had just been giving them excuses. “She never told us anything about her husband being sick all this time. How were we supposed to know as a school?” Mr Sichalwe asked. The court ruled that Ms Ngoma was being unfair because her children had already attended the third term and that she had not respected the time frame agreed for the settlement of the debt. The court also observed that it was difficult to take Ms. Ngoma’s statement that she could not pay because her husband was unwell because she had never mentioned to it to Mr. Sichalwe until at the court.
The magistrate ordered her to pay the amount by May 31, 2019.