, NAIROBI, Aug 20 – Marrianne Jebet Kitany, the estranged wife of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, took the witness box Tuesday to testify over the disputed marriage which the controversial politician disowned.
Kitany told Chief Magistrate Peter Gisore that she has evidence to prove that indeed there was customary marriage between her and Linturi.
In her evidence in chief led by her lawyer Danstan Omari, said that their relationship started way back in 2013 at Sopa Lodge in Naivasha County.
Despite having met at the office of Deputy President William Ruto where she worked as Chief of Staff, she testified that Linturi did introduce his four children born from different mothers and she did the same by also introducing to him her siblings at the lodge.
She later took the children and paid their school fees and actually took care of them as her own children, she said.
Her testimony was occasioned by the court after Linturi denied having married her.
She averred that she knew Linturi when he was living a four bed-roomed house along Ngong Road in Nairobi, whereas she was staying in the leafy Kileleshwa suburb.
She told that Linturi later moved the rented house joined her at Runda Estate, Nairobi.
“We lived together as husband and wife” she told the court.
She has called eleven witness to testify in an attempt to prove to the court that there was customary marriage between her and Linturi.
Whereas Linturi has said that there was no marriage that existed between him and Kitany, the court cannot make a firm decision on the denial until their evidence is tested through cross-examination, the court ruled in a preliminary objection raised by the
Senator through his lawyers.
When the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Linturi’s lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu told the trial Magistrate that the issue for determination is whether the purported marriage ever existed as alleged in the divorce case.
He said that the Senator has never married another woman for the last 18 years, safe for his first wife.
The court heard that Linturi had no capacity to entertain another woman as claimed in the divorce application.
He further told trial the magistrate that divorce is only brought up to take away what he has invested for many years.
However, Kitany’s lawyer, said that there is material evidence to demonstrate that indeed the two were married under the Meru and Nandi customary law.
“Both elders from the two communities have sworn an affidavit and are ready to come testify that a marriage existed.
He told the court that Linturi visited Kitany’s home in Nandi County where he paid dowry to seal the marriage.
Omari submitted that after marriage, the couple went to Zanzibar for honeymoon and has pledged to table evidence to that effect.
The hearing continues Wednesday.