Man fights order to pay Sh1m for son's upkeep

RIFT VALLEY |

A secondary school teacher has appealed against a court order that he pays Sh1 million to cater for his son's school fees arrears and upkeep or go to jail for six months.

The teacher, referred to in court as GL, filed his appeal at the High Court in Eldoret seeking to overturn the order by Senior Principal Magistrate HM Nyaberi.

The minor's mother filed the case in 2014. She asked the court to order GL to take care of the needs of their 11-year-old son's education and upkeep. She accused the defendant of refusing to take care of his son. She told the court they had agreed, in March 2014, that GL would meet the boy's educational needs and pay Sh4,000 monthly for maintenance.

The woman said she went ahead to open a bank account where her lover would be depositing the cash. 

However, the woman accused the teacher of failing to honour the agreement which, she noted, had been adopted as a court order.

“The defendant is aware of the bank account for the minor and has been depositing maintenance money therein from time to time but not adhering to the consent mentioned above,” she claimed in her affidavit.

But GL dismissed the allegations saying he has fully complied with the consent. He said he had even exceeded the amount he was expected to pay in his son's school fees.

“The contents thereof (in the plaintiff’s affidavit) are shocking and by extension continuation of the lies in the previous documentation," he stated in his affidavit.

GL produced, before court, M-Pesa statements he said were evidence he'd been sending money to his son’s mother while depositing more money to the minor’s bank account. He told the court he is a responsible father and had even included the boy in his medical cover.

GL argued that despite paying school fees, the boy's mother had lied to him that the son had been transferred to another school and provided him with what he claimed was a fake fees structure.

“I have been paying school fees as per the fee structure provided but the plaintiff went ahead to give me a false fees structure. She lied she had taken our child to another school and falsely obtained Sh21,000 from me. Records at the school she claimed my son had joined showed the minor was never a pupil there,” he said.

He said the woman was a teacher in the primary school where their son was a pupil. GL told court a warrant of arrest had been issued against him after he was accused of failing to honour court order. He said he risked losing his job if he is jailed.

Justice Olga Sewe granted GL leave to appeal the court’s decision but declined the request for a stay of execution orders. “There is considerable merit in the applicant’s stance that he risks losing his job as a teacher and therefore his source of livelihood and means of support should he remain imprisoned," Justice Sewe said.

"It is imperative that before arrest and imprisonment, alternative modes of execution be employed by the respondent. Leave is granted to the applicant to file his appeal. The application for stay is, however, declined,” said the judge. 

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