|Murang'a Senator Kembi Gitura [Photo:File/Standard]|
By Pamela Chepkemei
Nairobi, Kenya: Deputy Speaker of the Senate Kembi Gitura is fighting a legal battle initiated by a lawyer seeking recognition as his biological son.
Roy Kiarie, 41, has filed a constitutional petition in the High Court in Nairobi seeking an order to compel Gitura, who is also the Murang’a Senator on a Jubilee ticket, to accept him as a son. Kiarie says he has been ridiculed and called a bastard due to Gitura’s refusal to acknowledge him.
Kiarie has asked the court to issue an order declaring that the Senator is his biological father. He wants the Senator, who is also a lawyer by profession, to allow him adopt his surname.
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He is seeking an order compelling Gitura to change Kiarie’s documents to include the family name of Kembi.
“I am disturbed that my current and future offspring may associate with people of the same family to the extent of even marriage unknowingly,” says Kairie.
The lawyer is seeking orders to have Gitura undergo a DNA test to determine if the politician is his biological father.
Kairie claims that Gitura had a relationship with his mother, Rachel Kiarie, resulting in his birth.
“I have filed the case because my rights as a citizen have been violated,” said Kiarie.
He says he has filed the case on his own personal behalf and in the public interest.
Kiarie further says he has a son, who should enjoy the knowledge of his grandfather and use of the right names under Kikuyu Customary Law.
But Gitura in response argues that the case is a witch-hunt. He says the case lacks basis because Kiarie relies on rumours and is using litigation to smear the Senator’s good name. He has asked the court to dismiss the case, which is set for hearing this week.
Kiarie claims he grew up under the custody of his mother and when he sought to know who his biological father was, he got information that it was Gitura.
He says the politician did not deny that he is the father, but he has refused to acknowledge him despite his demands.
“As a result, the petitioner has suffered dejection, loss, mental anguish and ridicule,” Kiarie says.
He complains further that he has been unable to identify with a father figure on his official and social circles whenever it is required. His official documents are also not in order because the father’s name has not been filled up and as such many of his records are incomplete.
The lawyer says he has lacked parental love, consortium, and society in his life.
“I have suffered ridicule, shame by being labelled a bastard and my dignity has been lowered,” said Kairie.
The problem, Kairie added, has increased the likelihood of him entering into illegal union “within the sixth degree of consanguinity” due to concealment of his lineage and relations. Kiarie wrote to Gitura through his lawyer Alex Kibunja on November 7 last year demanding that he recognises him as his first-born son or he would be sued.
The case was later instituted after Gitura supposedly failed to respond. Gitura was Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium and European Union before he resigned to contest for the Senator’s post.
He previously practised law in Nairobi before he was appointed an ambassador.