‘She cannot divorce me because we are both HIV positive’

A LUSAKA husband has pleaded with a Local Court to reconcile him with his wife for no other woman would marry him because he is HIV positive. This is in a case in which Lawrence Shakalumba, 39,of Makeni villa sued his wife, Precious Shakabila, 29, for reconciliation. The two got married in 2003 and do not have children. Shakalumba told Senior Court Magistrate Abbyshine Michelo sitting with Magistrate Lewis Mumba at Kanyama Local Court that Precious left the matrimonial home on July 30, when her sister told her to look after her children and has never returned home. In defence, Precious said that she loved Shakalumba whole heartedly but the problem was that he beat her too much which later landed the man in Mumbwa Local Court. She explained that Shakalumba was very jealous because every time she talked to a man or a man came to buy a freezit from me, they were deemed as by boyfriends. Precious further said that Shakalumba told her that he would kill her and then kill himself. When asked by Shakalumba if she was willing to reconcile with him, Precious refused and insisted on divorce. In submission, Shakalumba said that Precious could not divorce him because they were both HIV positive, adding that there was no other woman who could accept to be married to him in that status. Precious said that she did not want to reconcile with Shakalumba because he would kill her. Magistrate Michelo said that the court could not force Precious into a marriage she did not want and that being HIV status could not be used as an excuse for reconciliation. He ruled a failed reconciliation.