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BATTLE FAR FROM OVER

Mum loses round, cops can use force to shift children

Court documents show Sarbo is wealthy, has more than Sh10m monthly income.

In Summary

• Court orders boys readmitted to Brickwoods School in Nanyuki, not Nairobi Muslim Academy as requested by mother. No decision on fees. 

• No decision on upkeep-maintenance. Divorced mother says she is penniless. 

Ake Mohamed Dawe, 25, mother of two, leaving the Milimani law courts in Nairobi on January 9. She is seeking upkeep and maintenance of her two children from ex-husband, a wealthy businessman and property owner.
HELP MY CHILDREN: Ake Mohamed Dawe, 25, mother of two, leaving the Milimani law courts in Nairobi on January 9. She is seeking upkeep and maintenance of her two children from ex-husband, a wealthy businessman and property owner.
Image: ENOS TECHE

A Marsabit court has ruled Lang'ata police can use reasonable force to remove two children from their divorced mother's home in Nairobi and enrol them in a Nanyuki school near their father.

Senior resident magistrate Mbayaki Wafula ordered that the two children, aged 10 and nine, be readmitted immediately to Brickwoods School in Nanyuki. The ruling was delivered on January 6 but came to light on Monday.

"Let the OCS Lang'ata police station and any other police station within the proximity of the children ensure compliance, including the use of reasonable force where necessary. Any parties in breach of the orders [will] be cited for contempt,” the magistrate ruled.

 
 

The minors have been in the custody of their mother Ake Mohamed in Nairobi as granted by judge Said Chitembwe.

Ake has been fighting to have the minors' father, Ibido Sarbo, stopped from removing or transferring them from her custody and from disrupting their education at the Nairobi Muslim Academy.

Magistrate Wafula ruled, however, the children will continue with schooling at Brickwoods School, pending the hearing and determination of a children’s case filed before the court.

The court said Ake shall have visitation rights within the school premises only and shall not take them out except with the concurrence of Sarbo or by order of the court.

A letter from Nairobi Muslim Academy said the two children ceased being pupils at the end of term one last year while in Classes 5 and 4. Academy principal Handi Mohamud confirmed the two children had been pupils, having joined on January 2015 in Class 1 and pre-unit respectively.

In a separate letter, Brickwoods Mixed Day and Boarding School in Nanyuki said the two minors have been pupils in the school since the beginning of the second term in 2019.

The letter indicates that the minors were enrolled by their father Sarbo. “He paid all their fees and boarding dues for the second term in full. We have given both parents unlimited access to their children through visitation and calling when in school,” it reads.

 
 

Ake Mohamed, 25, has been battling a number of court cases against her ex-husband involving custody and upkeep-maintenance of the minors. The latest is an appeal she has filed against a decision by judge Said Chitembwe.

In November last year, the judge directed a case filed before Wafula involving the two children proceeds. He said quashing the proceedings before the Marsabit Children's Court will not solve the dispute, as the minors' education is being affected and needs a quick resolution.

"The trial court shall deal with where the children shall pursue their education but in the meantime, custody is granted to the mother," the judge ruled.

He declined, however, to direct Sarbo to pay the fees as well as upkeep and maintenance. He said the best way forward is for the parties to appear before the Marsabit magistrate’s court and have the dispute heard and determined.

Ake appealed at the Court of Appeal in Nairobi this year. She wants the court to suspend the further proceedings in the children's case at the Marsabit magistrate’s court.

Ake says she was married in 2007 at the age of 13 under Islamic law but Sarbo has produced Ake’s ID card showing she was born on June 1989. Their marriage was allegedly dissolved as instituted by Sarbo last year. She says she has no assets and is penniless.

According to the court documents, Sarbo is a wealthy man and has more than Sh10 million monthly income from flats in Eastleigh, Nairobi, and the Nomad Hotel in Marsabit.

(Edited by V. Graham)