Kenya's political soap opera displayed in Linturi-Kitany divorce battle
The former chief of staff in Deputy President William Ruto’s office, Marianne Kitany, yesterday told a Nairobi court that she married Meru Senator Mithika Linturi in a traditional ceremony. Ms Kitany recounted events during her bride price ceremony as proof that she and Linturi tied the knot. She said Linturi was supposed to give six cows as dowry but paid Sh100,000 in cash. “For the sake of marriage and out of love, I chewed miraa (khat) for the first time as part of the Meru marriage rituals,” said Kitany. An elaborate Kalenjin ceremony was attended by members of Linturi’s family, Kitany told Chief Magistrate Peter Gisore. “Even though he (Linturi) doesn’t like mursik (traditional fermented milk), he took it because it’s a requirement in Kalenjin tradition,” Kitany said, adding that Linturi’s parents did not attend the ceremony and she was informed that in Meru culture, if a man has another wife, the parents cannot attend. She added that Linturi and his people visited her home in Nandi in 2016 where the ceremony took place. According to her, Linturi was accompanied by 18 people. “My mother got help from other villagers to prepare for the function that was held in Nandi on April 16, 2016,” she said. Kitany also told court she bought the lawmaker properties worth tens of millions out of love for him. She said after she left a Government job following corruption claims, she and Linturi got a Sh110 million house in Runda to accommodate all their six children. Kitany also told the court that she used Sh26 million to renovate Linturi’s Meru home as she thought it was also her home. Additionally, she said she renovated Linturi’s parents’ house for Sh8 million. She told court that before they moved in together, she paid Linturi’s rent and arrears. “I used to pay Sh200,000 rent arrears for Linturi out of love,” Kitany said. According to Kitany, Linturi’s rent problem is the reason she accommodated him in her house. Kitany said she paid Sh11 million for a family trip to Australia and Linturi did not chip in. She added that they visited five cities in Australia and later went to Dubai for two days before coming back to Kenya. The family also visited Mauritius in December 2015 with all the children and she paid Sh800,000. She told the court that Linturi gave her mother a Nissan X-trail, registered in his company name and said that the car was for her personal use. She added that during courtship, Linturi told her that she was the only woman in his life, which made her happy. Kitany added that Mercy Kaimenyi was not married to Linturi at the time they were engaged. “I had never seen any marriage certificate between Linturi and any other woman and this marriage certificate in court has been brought out of malice,” said Kitany.
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