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Man loses bid to divorce woman he was 'married' to for 11 years

RIFT VALLEY
By Daniel Chege | March 11th 2020

A Tanzanian national has lost a bid to divorce a Kenyan woman he claimed he was married to for 11 years.

The court ruled that he failed to present proof of their marriage to support his petition for the dissolution of the alleged marriage.

The man who we will refer to as AD suffered a huge blow after the two-year court battle to dissolve the marriage ended without the verdict he would have preferred.

On Tuesday afternoon, Nakuru Senior Resident Magistrate Yvonne Khatambi struck out AD’s divorce petition-filed on May 23, 2018.

Ms Khatambi ruled that the petition was premature since the AD did not present evidence to prove that he was married to MN.

Khatambi said that the court cannot speculate and assume that there existed marriage between the two without solid evidence to back up the claims.

“The trite law is that he who alleges must prove. The petitioner (AD) alleged that he was married to the respondent (MN) but failed to present proof in support of the same,” said Khatambi.

She said that the court wasn’t sure what type of marriage the parties had engaged in and thus couldn’t know which marriage to dissolve under the marriage act.

“The petitioner never indicated the type of marriage nor indicated the place of celebration. It is not clear whether the union was solemnised in church or at Attorney General’s chambers. As a consequence, court cannot identify type of marriage in order to apply grounds of dissolution,” she said.

She added that the petitioner’s claim that he solemnised the marriage to the respondents under marriage act must be backed by evidence of a certificate of marriage which was not availed.

“The petition cannot stand. Even though there was no defense by the respondent, the petition itself is defective and hereby dismissed.”

AD moved to court two years ago seeking to divorce MN for alleged desertion.

He said that they solemnized their marriage on February 14, 2009 and lived as husband and wife at Kenlands in Nakuru County.

AD said that they were blessed with two children who are now aged 10 and five years. The children are in custody of their mother MN.

In his petition, AD submitted that MN abandoned their matrimonial home to an unknown place.

He said that the desertion caused him mental anguish, pain, shame and acute embarrassment.

“The petitioner was denied conjugal rights. His life has been strained since he is in disharmony and future cohabitation and reconciliation is impossible,” read the petition.

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