Thursday, 12 December 2019

BUYANGA WINS CHILD SURNAME BATTLE


SOUTH Africa based businessman Frank Buyanga has won the right to change the name of his four-year-old son’s surname from that of his ex-girlfriend, Chantelle Muteswa.

The boy’s birth certificate did not reflect Buyanga’s name despite him being the biological father. The Children Court in Harare ruled out that Buyanga had the right to have his name appear on their four-year-old son’s birth certificate.
  
Buyanga has been approaching the court for a directive to force Chantelle to have their son carry his name on the birth certificate.

Harare Magistrate Stanford Mambanje granted the request at the Children’s Court, where Buyanga also sought the court’s permission to travel with his son to South Africa where he is based.

He also successfully applied for name change saying Chantelle misled the Registrar General that she did not know her son’s father thereby infringing on the boy’s right to identity.

Mambanje ruled that the couple should acquire a new birth certificate showing Buyanga as the father of the child. 

He also ruled that the couple should acquire a new passport, which will stay in custody the Registrar General.

Through his lawyer, Advocate Jaqualine Rukanda, Buyanga had told Mambabnje that he wants to travel with his son to South Africa for his baptism.

“Applicant will not be able to attend the ceremony with his son and cannot afford to miss this very important and significant event which furthers Applicant of his right to religion. There will be no other remedy to the applicant and his son if the baptism is missed.

“All the Applicant wants is for the matter to be decided upon urgently. The judgment that the applicant should not take the child out of court’s jurisdiction has been appealed against thereby suspending the judgement order,” she said.

However, Cantelle’s lawyer Mr Munyaradzi Bwanya of Wilmot and Bennet Legal practitioners hit back saying Buyanga had no right to take the child for christening since he is not the custodian.

“It is common at law that the religious upbringing of a minor child and decisions relating to this is vested in the custodian parent and not the parent with access as is the applicant in this matter.

“The Applicant before you has come with an appeal in disguise in that he wants to dictate the religious upbringing of this child yet he had no rights to do so,” Bwanya said.

He added that it was strange that Buyanga wants to take the minor to a church he has never attended for baptism.

“He (the minor) has never attended that church. Its common cause the child resides in Zimbabwe not in South Africa. In fact, he has already been baptised and attends church here in Zimbabwe,” he said.

But Advocate Rukanda argued that the fact that the boy’s birth certificate does not reflect Buyanga’s name shows that Chantelle was up to mischief.

“The record does not show the applicant as the father of the minor in spite of the fact that the respondent acknowledges the applicant as the biological father,” she argued.

“The parties entered into an agreement to regulate the welfare and care of the minor on April 10, 2018. In the same agreement Chantelle acknowledges Buyanga as the biological father of the four year-old boy. It is important to note because as a result he has been meeting his obligations as a father.”

“Because of this evidence and urgent need that has arisen for the applicant to travel with his son, it is important and in the best interests to have his name endorsed on the birth certificate as the father.” 

Buyanga argues that Chantelle allegedly made the misrepresentation that she does not know the boy’s father after she parted ways with him and came back to Zimbabwe.

He said the child is now registered in Chantelle’s name despite that the two had acquired a birth certificate in Buyanga’s name when they were still staying together in South Africa.

The two used to stay together in Sandton, South Africa before they ended their relationship. H Metro

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