In an unexpected turn of events, AFM pastor Learnmore Mutenha narrowly escaped arrest at his own wedding due to outstanding child maintenance payments.
Just hours before exchanging vows at Waterpot Gardens, Mutenha was served with a warrant of arrest by the police, prompted by his ex-wife Janet Badza.
Janet, who shares two children aged nine and 14 with Mutenha, had reported his repeated failure to pay child support since January. She informed the authorities that Mutenha had a history of defaulting on these payments and had previously been warned by the Harare Magistrates’ Court.
Fortunately for Mutenha, he managed to avoid the embarrassment of being arrested during his wedding ceremony. He negotiated with the police officer serving the warrant and assured them he would voluntarily surrender himself at the Harare Central Police Station on Monday. The understanding police officer agreed to hold off on executing the warrant until after the wedding, allowing the ceremony to proceed without interruption.
Speaking to H-Metro, Janet expressed her frustration with Mutenha’s irresponsibility, labelling him as heartless towards their own children. She revealed her disappointment at his lack of support for their kids, emphasizing that this was not the first time he had come into conflict with the law regarding child maintenance. Janet criticized Mutenha for prioritising his wedding preparations over fulfilling his parental duties.
“Pastor Mutenha is very irresponsible and heartless towards his own children. Panemudzimai waOverseer wavo anoshandira paKadoma Police Station ndiye azoita kuti asasungwe asati achata. It is not his first time to rub shoulders with the police for not supporting his children. He took his time to prepare for a wedding without showing responsibility for his kids,”
Mutenha and Janet had divorced in 2015, and his failure to meet his child support obligations had previously led to his arrest last year. Despite warnings by a Harare magistrate, Mutenha’s pattern of neglecting his financial responsibilities persisted, resulting in the recent warrant of arrest.