A Catholic priest testified in court that he solemnised the marriage between Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Mercy Kaimenyi.
Jackson Micheni appeared before Magistrate Peter Gesora at the Milimani Law Courts to give evidence in a divorce case between Linturi and Marianne Kitany.
The matter was heard in open court after Mr Gesora rejected an application by Linturi to have the case heard in camera.
“I officiated a Christian marriage between Mithika Linturi and Mercy Kaimenyi, who were young then, on April 8, 2000 at the Tigania Parish,” said Father Micheni.
A wedding video was played in court, with Micheni saying, “It was a true marriage between Linturi and Mercy. As you can see, I have also aged a bit since then.”
A marriage certificate was produced as evidence that the union had taken place.
After he finished giving his testimony, the priest was cross-examined by Kitany’s lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari.
The two questioned Micheni whether the marriage ceremony was conducted in a proper manner.
The priest did not produce his practising licence when he appeared in court on Wednesday. The court noted that his signature was missing from the marriage certificate he claimed to have issued.
The court also noted that one of the witnesses to the marriage did not sign the certificate.
The magistrate was told that the marriage document was only certified last year by another priest.
Mr Ombeta said Micheni’s failure to certify the marriage certificate indicated that he might not be telling the truth.
The lawyer also asked the priest whether he was aware at the time that Linturi had children outside marriage. Micheni said he had not been given the information.
“If in a Catholic wedding I have a child before marriage, does that affect the wedding?” Ombeta asked.
“No, it does not,” said the Catholic priest.
The priest insisted that Linturi and Mercy had never divorced, adding that the Catholic faith does not permit divorce.
Linturi had previously accused Kitany of forging papers to show that he had divorced Kaimenyi in 2005. But Kitany told the court that a forensic analysis done by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had confirmed that the divorce suit papers were genuine.
The hearing resumes on October 15.