SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Judiciary denies biased ruling in Mwingi child custody case

Statement comes after viral video showed girl clinging to her father after ruling.

In Summary

• The Judiciary said Kenyans on Twitter were bashing them based on wong information.

• Kenyans on Twitter soon after bashed the Judiciary claiming the ruling was unfair to the father who allegedly solely took care of the child for nine years.

The Judiciary has disputed claims of a biased ruling in a custody case involving a 10-year-old girl.
The Judiciary has disputed claims of a biased ruling in a custody case involving a 10-year-old girl.
Image: THE STAR

The Judiciary has disputed claims of a biased ruling in a custody case involving a 10-year-old girl saying the critics don't have all the details about the case. 

Through a press statement on Tuesday through the Deputy Director, Public Affairs and Communication Catherine Wambui, the Judiciary said Kenyans on Twitter were bashing them based on wong information.

The response came after a huge public outcry across social media after the video of the 10-year-old clinging to her father after the custody ruling in favour of her mother went viral.

 

"It is noted that all matters of interest and angles of the case, were canvassed before a competent court. Moreover, a notable aspect is that the child actually lives with her paternal grandparents, since her father works over 70 kilometres away, yet her mother is alive, able and willing to stay with her," Wambui said.

It was initially claimed that the child has been staying with her father since she was one-and-a-half years old after her mother departed.

It was on a material day, January 9, that the video was taken and uploaded on social media with a view to painting the Judiciary in a bad light, and as an attempt to reverse the decision of a court unprocedural.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs and Communication Catherine Wambui

Kenyans on Twitter soon after bashed the Judiciary claiming the ruling was unfair to the father who allegedly solely took care of the child for nine years.

Wambui, however, said the case was reported in September 2019, and the court observed that effective implementation date of the court order would be December 1, 2019, after schools close, so as not to disrupt the minor’s education.

"The mother was to pick her on December 1, 2019, which would give them ample time to bond and look for a school for her well before January. Come December 1, and the father refused to hand over the child," the statement read.

The mother then returned to court on December 15, 2019, to seek orders that he be compelled to do so and also to show cause why he should not be cited for contempt of court. 

Wambui said, more push and pull followed, but on January 8, the couple re-appeared in court.

They were both represented by advocates who requested to be allowed to negotiate outside court. When they returned, they had written signed consent where both parents agreed to abide by the court orders.

 

According to the statement, the father was to bring the child the following day, on January 9, 2020, and a Children’s Officer was to oversee the handover and ensure the girl had the necessary counselling and preparation.

Wambui added, "The parties did not inform the Court that they had any problem with the court decision. If anyone is dissatisfied with a court decision, the way to go is to appeal to a higher court, but not to defy, castigate the judicial officer or mud-sling the Judiciary".