|Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula. (Photo:Standard)|
By Isaiah Lucheli
Bungoma, Kenya: Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula has been ordered by a children’s court to pay maintenance fees to a woman who has sued him over neglect.
The court, however, did not specify the amount of money to be paid to the woman by the former Cabinet minister. The woman, who claims to be married to Mr Wetangula under the Bukusu customary law, also won another prayer in her application when the court granted her temporary custody of their daughter.
In her petition, she had sought the court to grant her full custody of the child in the event that Wetangula seeks for separation following the suit. On maintenance, the woman moved to court seeking upkeep and monthly maintenance fees of Sh270,000, and an additional amount of Sh120,000 annually to take care of the child’s clothing and other needs.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the minor, is also seeking an additional Sh75,000 per term to cater for the child’s school fees and other related expenses.
She wants the court to compel Wetangula to provide for her and the child adequately, noting that he is a man of means and earns good pay as a lawmaker and a lawyer.
The woman submitted that the child was undergoing extreme hardship since the Senator abandoned the family and is apprehensive that their second child will also experience similar hardships.
She said that the child should be provided with adequate and consistent maintenance by both parents and Wetangula should be compelled to do his part. In the application, the woman claims that she met the Senator in 2003 and they started cohabiting. She added that after sometime, the Senator failed to provide maintenance for the child, neglected her and stopped giving moral and emotional support.
The woman added that they formalised their union in 2011 under the Bukusu customary law and she later bore him a child in September 2011 and was currently expecting Wetangula’s second child.
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“When I got pregnant the Senator, then serving as a minister, compelled me to resign from my job and become a housewife,” she submitted.
She added that after leaving her job the Senator took over the responsibility of providing for her and the child but he abandoned her and the child in May this year.
“The Senator has refused to provide for us adequately, forcing me to single-handedly cater for the child. I have been receiving financial assistance from my mother but the amount is not sufficient,” she said.
The former minister admits marrying the woman under Bukusu customary law in 2011 but denies abandoning her.