A High Court in Nyamira has dismissed a plea by a man to review a Sh10,000 monthly food expense for a minor. Justice Wilfrida Adhiambo Okwany dismissed an appeal by the man and affirmed a Magistrate’s Court decision.
The judge ordered the man to cater for the child’s monthly expenses for food at Sh10,000 to be remitted before the fifth day of every month as determined by the trial court.
The man had been sued by a woman in respect to the upkeep of their child. The woman in a suit filed at a Magistrate’s Court wanted the man to pay Sh310,000 as upkeep cash for a year, Sh500,000 for entertainment, and Sh36,000 for offsetting a loan.
The trial court, however, referred the matter for mediation, and on March 14, 2023, the man and the woman entered into a partial settlement agreement. They agreed to share school fees equally as the man caters for medical expenses and the woman offers shelter.
They did not however agree on the issue of the mobile loan the woman obtained during her stay with the man. An agreement was also not reached on the aspect of the said child’s clothing expenses.
The matter was then referred back to the trial court for determination.
On May 5, 2023, the trial court directed the man to cater for the minor’s food expenses, which were assessed at Sh10,000.
The woman was ordered to cater to the minor’s clothing needs.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the trial court, the man lodged an appeal faulting the Magistrate’s Court for bestowing full parental responsibility on him with minimal contribution from the woman.
He said the magistrate made an error in failing to consider the circumstances of the case, particularly the age of the minor, and the fact that he is unemployed, by issuing orders for maintenance of Sh10,000.
He termed the amount as excess and unsustainable. He observed that the trial court did not conduct a trial but instead relied solely on pleadings in arriving at its decision.
The woman in response to the appeal, said the trial court’s findings were based on sound legal principles.
She stated that the award of Sh10,000 for monthly food expenses was not excessive, considering that she spents Sh15,000 to feed the minor.
She submitted that even though the man had agreed to the terms of the Partial Mediation Settlement Agreement, he had not fulfilled any of his obligations under the said agreement.
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She noted that reducing the monthly maintenance for food to Sh3,000 would be untenable, bearing in mind the high cost of living.
The judge in the judgment said the man and the woman were bound by the terms of the mediation agreement of May 5, 2023.
The judge noted that the man did not approach the court with clean hands, having failed to honour part of his obligations. The court noted that the minor’s medical bills, which formed part of the man’s responsibilities, have accrued.
“My finding is that the conduct of the appellant portrays him as a ‘dead-beat’ father who is unwilling to support his own child and is hell-bent on frustrating the respondent in every way possible, including filing this appeal to challenge issues that had been agreed upon at mediation,” stated the judge.
“The appellant has not demonstrated any goodwill or willingness to provide for the child as required by the law, even after entering into the Partial Mediation Settlement Agreement.”
In dismissing the appeal, the judge ordered the man to include the minor in his medical cover.
The man and the woman were ordered to agree on a visitation schedule and create a conducive environment for the child’s upbringing that is devoid of violence.