Jan 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Tanzanian man loses property to Kenyan wife in marriage dispute


A Tanzanian has lost millions of shillings worth of property to his estranged Kenyan wife after failing to provide evidence of a traditional marriage to support himself an equal share of the qualifying wealth.

The man who was identified in the court records as HJO alias BJO has left the marriage empty-handed after more than six years of litigation.

HJO had to prove that his marriage to the woman, IMS alias EMS, was indeed celebrated through the required Maasai rites prior to purchasing the property on the south coast.

During the verdict, the judge remarked of the Mombasa Family Division, John Onyiego that certain activities take place at every traditional African wedding ceremony, such as a public ceremony in the presence of elders to bless the marriage, the exchange of gifts and the payment of dowries.

“L Eider there was no evidence provided by HJO to prove that the required Maasai rites and / or cultural practices were being carried out, “said the judge.

The judge also found that the evidence was traditional The marriage between the two fell from hearsay when HJO did not call an eyewitness at the Maasai ceremony.

“His evidence regarding the Maasai marriage is simply not confirmed. It was up to HJO to provide evidence to prove the existence or presumption of a traditional marriage. A mere claim that they married in 2010 without evidence is untenable, ”the judge said.

Justice Onyiego noted that the only evidence available is that the woman married the man in 2015, which is five years after the disputed property was acquired.

Also, the court found that there was no evidence of improvements made to the property during the cover-up and therefore it is not the subject of the marital property Property for division or distribution.

“In this respect, the question of contribution arises neither directly nor indirectly,” said Judge Onyiego.

The court battle between the couple began in 2017 after the man filed for divorce at the Kadhi Court in Mombasa.

The couple accused themselves of infidelity, dishonesty and cruelty, among other things, and called for the marriage to be dissolved because it was irrevocably broken.

The man asked the woman to pay him for d to compensate for the divorce.

The man told the court that he came to Kenya in 2007 as a businessman and bought shoes from Tanzania and sold them in Mombasa.

started living with the woman. I took them to Tanzania the following year and had our union celebratory in accordance with Maasai culture and customs, “he said.

He claimed that they would have the country a modern house on the 5th with more than 8 rooms.

According to the HJO, the property could not be registered in his name because he had not received the required documents, which is why his name did not appear in the ownership documents.

They then moved into the house in 2014, converted to Islam and celebrated their Islamic marriage the following year before the kadhi.

In her defense, the woman accused the man of being irresponsible because he never supported her financially and that he was a dishonest person who never disclosed that he was another wife in Tanzania.

She further denied having ever performed a traditional Maasai wedding ceremony with the man or ever been introduced to any of the man’s relatives to be. However, she admitted to having an Islamic marriage with the man in 2015.

“I was single when I bought and developed the theme, we hadn’t started living together yet,” she said

After Kadhi heard the two of them, Kadhi’s court dissolved the marriage, but ordered the couple to share property 50:50.

This decision pained the woman, who was appealing the High Court, Family Division. preferred, complained that the Kadhi Court ignored her evidence that she bought the property and single-handedly built it before marrying the man.

Justice Onyiego agreed with the woman after reviewing the evidence and found that he could not find a record of how the man contributed to the purchase and development of the property.

But more importantly, the judge found the property to be owned by the woman was acquired prior to the cover-up.

“A statement made herein that the said property was acquired solely by the woman prior to the marriage to the man and therefore,” 100 percent of her property, “said the Judge.

Justice Onyiego said the Kadhis court erred in law and misdirected itself in claiming the property was acquired during the cover-up.