Nakuru CEC sued for allegedly shortchanging ex-wife who quit teaching to manage jointly-owned school
The ex-wife to Nakuru County Executive Committee (CEC) Water Dr Nelson Mara, has accused him of disinheriting her from a matrimonial property they accumulated together since 1997.
Feleria Chebotip has now moved to the High Court in Nakuru, seeking half the share of the property she allegedly deserves from her previous marriage to Mara.
In a matrimonial case before Justice Hillary Chemitei, Chebotip wants the court to declare that all the properties owned by the two are matrimonial properties acquired by their joint efforts.
“The court should direct that all the property be shared equally between me and the respondent (Mara) and grant me possession of the matrimonial home,” she submits.
Chebotip claims Mara removed her as a co-director of a school they built together-Lord Egerton Academy in Njoro, estimated to be worth Sh50 million. She adds that Mara forcefully evicted her from their matrimonial home in Njoro after their divorce case concluded and their marriage was dissolved on November 26, 2021.
Court records show that Chebotip entered into an African Christian Marriage with Mara on April 12, 1997.
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During their marriage, Chebotip who was aged 25 was a teacher while Mara, aged 27, was described as a technician but a lecturer by profession.
The two were blessed with seven children, but lost two in a road accident that caused their third child who survived to be in need of special care after sustaining a brain injury.
According to Chebotip, the two accumulated wealth together, including six properties in Njoro, the school land in Kampi ya Moto, a dairy unit and meat unit hosting cows and goats and vehicles. “We acquired a huge piece of land that we used to develop the school and our matrimonial home,” Chebotip submits in her court papers.
To develop and maintain the school, Chebotip says she was forced to take loans from several institutions.
She filed records in court that shows she took several loans totalling to Sh2,628,900 between September 1, 2006 and July 9, 2019.
The records show that she remained with a loan balance of Sh250,000 as at December 10, 2019.
“Before and after I left teaching, I took the loans from Cosmopolitan Savings and Cooperative Society and Egerton University Sacco, while still a wife to Mara,” she submits.
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Chebotip alleges that she quit teaching in 2013 as a Teacher Service Commission (TSC) member, and took up the directorship role in the school she owned with Mara.
She adds that the two of them were signatories and joint owners of the school and shared a joint account.
“Through my hard work, I oversaw the growth of the school. It expanded and acquired two minibuses and four school vans,” she claims.
However, she says that things turned sore in 2018, when Mara started being violent towards her and severely injured her.
Her claims contrast with a divorce case Mara filed on August 5, 2020 before then Senior Resident Magistrate Benjamin Limo.
Ironically, Mara accused Chebotip of being violent and cruel to a point that she had threatened to kill him, forcing him to live in fear.
He further added that he managed to obtain a restraining order against her.
Mara stated that he did not kick out Chebotip in October 2020, but she deserted their matrimonial home, denying him conjugal rights.
“She was a drunkard and on several occasions left our home leaving the children under my custody,” he claimed in his divorce case, adding his attempts to resolve the matter were met with cruelty and unfaithfulness from Chebotip.
“I suffered mental anguish, pain, shame and acute embarrassment. My marriage life was straining and was in disharmony making future cohabitation impossible,” he said.
Chebotip did not file any response and the case was heard undefended. On November 26, 2021, the court dissolved the marriage. Mr Limo ruled that the marriage had irretrievably broken down and there was no option but to dissolve it. He restrained Chebotip from interfering with Mara.
Court records by Chebotip filed by her lawyer Hari Gakinya suggest that Mara then forcefully evicted her from the matrimonial home, and denied her access to the school she manages.
The case will be mentioned on June 6.
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