CS Soipan sues 'estranged' husband for child upkeep and protection

Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya. Inset, her ex-husband Stephen Saibulu Kudate. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Environment Cabinet Secretary Soipan Tuya has sued her estranged husband over child maintenance and custody.

She claims that what started as a fairy tale love affair with a married man in 2013 and ended up with them cohabitating as husband and wife, but turned chaotic in 2020 when the man deserted her for his first wife, became abusive and stopped supporting their two children.

“We currently live separately after our association was frustrated and brought to a quick end by his continuous refusal to take responsibility towards upkeep and maintenance of the minors as well as violence, abuse and infidelity,” said Tuya.

The CS wants Stephen Saibulu Kudate compelled to pay half of the two children’s maintenance and upkeep totalling Sh425,000 and an order granting her custody of the minors aged nine and four.

The amount includes Sh225,000 being half for school fees, Sh100,000 for monthly entertainment needs and another Sh100,000 for monthly upkeep.

Tuya also wants an order restraining Kudate from visiting her homes in Naroo, Kileleshwa and Karen in Nairobi or her place of work, the children’s school, abusing her or the children or in any way threatening to harm them.

“In the event the court allows him access to the children, it should order that the access be limited and in my presence or that of a trusted adult family member to supervise the safety of the children,” said Tuya in the suit filed through lawyer Daniel Ondabu.

Stephen Saibulu Kudate. [File, Standard]

Kudate through lawyer Vincent Lempaa, however, denied the allegations and asked the court for seven days to file a response.

He claimed Tuya has withheld factual information about their relationship and wants the court to summon her to be cross-examined.

Tuya stated that they started living together in December 2013 until October 2020 when there was a disconnection and Kudate returned to his first wife.

“During the subsistence of the cohabitation, the mother has been the sole breadwinner, providing all the children’s basic needs and paying 100% of their school fees. The man has however refused to take responsibility despite being able,” said Ondabu.

He said the estranged husband has also physically and emotionally neglected the children. The CS in her affidavit stated that Kudate was cruel and abusive during their cohabitation, and insulted her in December 2022 after denying paternity of the two children and demanded a DNA test.

“He committed untold physical, emotional and psychological harm to me and the children. He manifested total inability to take care of us during our cohabitation and even assaulted our domestic servants,” said Tuya.

She claimed Kudate did not contribute anything towards purchasing their homes in Nairobi and Narok and only moved in to live with her when they started cohabitating and has never bothered to add anything towards building their relationship.