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How businessman lost family house to ex-wife

By Willis Oketch | Published Thu, February 22nd 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 21st 2018 at 20:31 GMT +3
Spaniard had appealed a decision by the High Court awarding his former wife their matrimonial home [Courtesy]

The court has declined to grant a Spanish businessman's plea to be given possession of a house that was awarded to his former wife.

The Court of Appeal declared that Felister Soila had a right to equal share of matrimonial property after her marriage to Eduardo Zina was dissolved by the court.

Justices Alnashir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja, and Martha Koome said the woman contributed by looking after the property while her husband was away and, therefore, had a right to a share of the matrimonial property.

The Court of Appeal concurred with the decision of the High Court and awarded the woman the house and a vehicle.

Ms Soila filed a petition before the High Court seeking a declaration that the properties which she and Zina had acquired during their marriage be divided equally.

High Court judge Said Chitembwe awarded Soila the car, which Zina had bought for her as a birthday gift, and the house he had registered in her name.

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Equal share

Soila had staked a claim to a motor vehicle, a plot registered in her name, and another piece of land jointly registered in the couple's names in Malindi.

“In her affidavit she wanted the property registered in her name to be awarded to her and wanted equal share in the property they were jointly registered. She also wanted equal share of the property which was registered in the name of her husband,” noted the Court of Appeal judges.

The judges said Zina, in his response, opposed the idea of sharing the matrimonial property equally and said Soila deserted their matrimonial home in Spain in 2006 and came to Kenya.

The appellant also insisted his former wife had no right to equal share of matrimonial property because she never made any monetary contribution to its acquisition.

The woman also wanted the court to order that she get a share of the matrimonial properties outside Kenya, but the court declined to do so because she did not produce any evidence.

The judges asked why Zina had appealed against the decision of the High Court and yet he did not file a counter claim.


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