A Kenyan man is demanding the chunk of his daughter’s bride price as compensation before he divorces his wife.
The 72-year-old mason, Joel Lang’at wants his 65-year-old wife of 27 years, Joyce Chemutai to give him 30 bags of rice, six cows and Sh15,000 approximately $146 before he signs the divorce papers.
The case was filed at the Nakuru Magistrate court by Chemutai in September 2018 prior to their only child’s marriage ceremony. She did so to prevent Lang’at from receiving his due or negotiating the bride price as the child’s father and to prevent him access to their ‘bedroom.’
Lang’at and his wife have been estranged for 21 years during winch Lang’at remarried. They lived together as a couple for only two years after their civil marriage in 1992.
“I left the homestead in 1998. We have been separated for over 21 years,” Chemutai said.
In court, Chemutai revealed she was in an abusive relationship. “He used to chase me with a machete and threatened me every time. I have never lived in peace and I was forced to flee to my parents’ house,” Newslexpoint reports.
On the other hand, Lang’at insists his wife’s claims can not be substantiated as he hadn’t been cruel to her. Speaking to the presiding judge, Senior Resident Magistrate Yvonne Khatambi, he said not even his wife or in-laws can prevent him from getting his due from his daughter’s bride price.
He said he deserved his share of the money, cows and maize that were received as his daughter’s bride price. Adding that the 30 bags of maize be converted to cash, amounting to Sh9,750 ($95) which he will use as seed money of the family kiosk.
His only motivation to willingly agree to end the marriage will be when he receives the items he is demanding.
He said, “the reimbursement of the things and money mentioned should be placed inside court, the next time we meet upon which I will agree to the revocation of our marriage. If not met, I will desist from attending court.”
In a petition to the court to urge her estranged husband to sign the divorce papers, Chemutai said their union is irreconcilable.
She doesn’t deem it fit for a man who evaded his responsibilities as a father to demand so much after being violent to her as well. After only resurfacing in 2018 to demand their daughter’s bride price.
To her the mistreatment took a bad toll on her because he “deserted the petitioner without cause or consent. He withdrew from cohabitation with the petitioner and denied her conjugal rights at their matrimonial home in Salgaa, Rongai Sub-County within Nakuru County.”
The banter between the estranged couple continued in court as Lang’at denies all the claims made by his wife.
“I never deserted my wife. In fact, she is the one who deserted me, cut off all communication and denied me the chance to be with my children and care for them.”
He also accuses her of infidelity. “At one time I caught my wife with another man at my house and when I confronted her, she ran away,” said Lang’at.
Even though he availed himself to raise his daughter and two other children from his second wife, Chemutai denied him that right and “took all her children with her,” he added.
After hearing both arguments the court was adjourned and ruling will be delivered on December, 6, 2019.