The couple met in 2016 in Diani, Kwale County [Photo: Shutterstock]

A Kenyan woman has told the Mombasa High Court that her ex-lover, a former senior police boss for Surrey County, wants to use their son to claim child benefit payments from the UK Government. The woman, who has filed a case to stop her estranged boyfriend from registering their three-year-old son as a UK citizen, claims the man, who now works as a security and terrorism consultant in Afghanistan, has squandered his wealth and is out to use the boy for financial gain.

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“Registration of our son is only aimed to benefit the man who is now retired and will therefore be paid handsomely by the British Government,” she said. But the man has denied the claims, saying the woman is holding on to their son to continue demanding child support from him. He also claims to have bought her a house in Mombasa worth Sh11 million. “She regards the child as her lifetime ATM and is fearful he may be taken from her,” he said, adding that her lifestyle will affect the ‘moral and physical quality’ of their son. On November 9, the woman filed a case before Justice John Onyiego to challenge orders issued by a Children’s Court at Tononoka over custody of the minor.

In case number 435 of 2019, Tononoka Resident Magistrate LK Sindani had ordered the woman to allow the Briton to see his son. She was also ordered to stop insulting him and halt the sale of the family house. The magistrate further directed the woman to furnish the boy’s father with his birth certificate to enable him register the child as a British citizen and secure him an Irish passport. On December 1, Justice Onyiego stopped the matter from proceeding at the Children’s Court and lifted a warrant of arrest issued against the woman for contempt of court. The woman had filed an affidavit stating that she was unable to hand over the boy’s birth documents because they had “mysteriously disappeared” from their home.

In his replying affidavit, the man said he feared for the child’s upbringing because “his mother leaves him in the care of aunties as she pursues money, staying out all night.” According to court documents, the couple met in 2016 in Diani, Kwale County, when the Briton first visited Kenya as a tourist. Their friendship blossomed into love and their son was born the following year. It is, however, not clear when or why the two lovebirds differed, but last year the man filed a case seeking custody of his son.

In their sworn statements, the two accuse each other of promiscuity with each saying the other is not fit to raise the child. “She operates at least 12 phones to facilitate her relationships with men, and she is unable to secure answers on any of them,” states the man. But the woman has denied the accusations, instead saying that her former lover “was an adulterous man who sleeps with even her relatives.” “I realised he was having an affair with my sister who I used to stay with,” said the woman, adding that the man has squandered his money on women in Kenya and Uganda.

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The man, however, insists that he is a respectable member of society. “My professional reputation is of crucial importance to my standing as an international police and counter-terrorism consultant. It is preposterous to suggest I would attempt to take the child outside the jurisdiction of the Kenyan courts particularly knowing the damage this would do to me personally and precisely how such an offence would be investigated.”