FEUD

Married or not? Case of Lilian Ng'ang'a and Governor Mutua

Mutua and Ng'ang'a were together for nine years.

In Summary

• When is someone really presumed married?

• Kenyan laws recognise five types of marriages; civil, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and customary.

Former Machakos first lady Lilian Ng’ang’a accompanied by her lawyer Philip Murgor during a press conference on November 4, 2021.
Former Machakos first lady Lilian Ng’ang’a accompanied by her lawyer Philip Murgor during a press conference on November 4, 2021.
Image: MERCY MUMO

On Thursday, the separation between Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his now estranged ‘wife’ Lillian Ng’ang’a took an ugly turn after the latter alleged they were not actually married.

In her statement, Ng'ang'a said Mutua was overreacting to their separation, yet she only wants to move on with her life.

“...At a meeting at the Windsor Golf and Country Club on 22nd September 2021, in the company of two mutual friends, and after the two criminal incidents, I requested him for a mature and amicable separation and reminded him that, after all, we were not married,” she said.

She added that Mutua was a long-term partner and they were not legally married.

Ng'ang'a and Mutua have been together for more than nine years, a time during which she acted as the official Machakos county first lady, on top of performing official duties.

The two announced their separation on August 15, 2021 through their social media platforms adding that they remained ‘good friends and business partners’.

This has however, turned out to be a fallacy, with Lillian’s latest reveal.

So, when is someone really presumed married?

Kenyan laws recognise five types of marriages; civil, Christian, Islamic, Hindu and customary.

Legal expert Hassan Kulundu who spoke to the Star said that under the presumption of marriage, the two are assumed to be officially married.

“This is what happens when a couple lives together, conducts their affairs in the eyes of normal people who know them and lead the people who know them and interact with them to reasonably believe that they are husband and wife, and that is what Mutua and Lillian have been doing,” he told the Star on the phone.

According to Kulundu, it will now be upon Ng'ang'a to prove that she was not married Mutua if the case proceeds to a court of law.

He, however, noted that Lillian did not break any law by enjoying the privileges of the office of the first lady because it was presumed that they were married.

Kulundu added that any gifts given to one of the couples by the other is legally owned by the partner that received it.

The development has left Kenyans with mixed reactions and here is what some of them had to say;

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