• Linturi insists he was married to another woman, hence could not have had a customary marriage with Kitany.
• Magistrate rules only way to ascertain issues in contention is through full hearing
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s estranged wife Mary Kitany has won the first round of their divorce case as the court dismissed his application.
Linturi had asked the court to dismiss Kitany’s divorce case against him, arguing that he never married her. He produced a marriage certificate in court as proof that he only had one wife.
However, the legislator suffered a blow after chief magistrate Peter Gesora ordered that the divorce case be heard in full.
Gesora ruled that the only way to ascertain the issues in contention is through a full hearing.
He questioned the validity of the certificate produced by Linturi in court saying a certified copy dated December 28, 2018, was produced and the documents show they were obtained a few days after Kitany filed her petition on December 17.
“The authenticity of the said documents has been challenged and it is important therefore to interrogate this issue,” Gesora ruled.
The court said the parties need to be cross-examined on various issues that were brought out in the matter.
“It is my humble view that for there to be a certification for the copy of the marriage certificate, it is either the original copy is missing or a party seeks to have the copy held by the registrar of marriage issued to him,” the court ruled.
According to the magistrate, the signatures appearing on the marriage record are glaringly different and this gives credence to the argument by Kitany that the certificate has some discrepancies.
“The certified copy of the certificate has a provision to have the name of the person who typed the certificate and also the one who checked. These details are conspicuously missing from the certified copy and it is not known who appended the signatures thereof,” Gesora said.
This means that the senator and Kitany will each take to the stand to argue the existence of their union.
Through her lawyer Danstan Omari, Kitany says she will call over 30 witnesses who will each endeavour to prove that she was married customarily to Linturi.
The senator had argued that Kitany’s claims of marriage were false, asking the court to strike out her divorce case against him.
Linturi says even if photos of the alleged customary marriage exist, they do not make the marriage legal or prove anything.
“Even if we are to assume they went through a customary marriage, it would still be void. There would be no marriage for you to annul,” he said.
Linturi had told the court that Christian marriage is a monogamous and so he had no capacity to conduct a customary marriage.
In her defence, Kitany accused Linturi of forging the marriage certificate he produced in court questioning "why it was issued in 2018 if he was married years ago".
She maintained that there was never a marriage between Linturi and his alleged first wife as he claimed to court.
The hearing of the case will proceed on July 23.
(Edited by R.Wamochie)