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Blow to Linturi as court declines to stop divorce case

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi suffered a set back after a Nairobi commercial court declined to strike out a divorce suit filed by his estranged wife, Maryanne Kitany.

Linturi wanted the court to dismiss Kitany’s divorce suit before it proceeds to full trial, saying he was never married to her as he was already in a Christian union which is monogamous.

Commercial Court Chief Magistrate Peter Gesora, however, declined to grant the order, saying the marriage certificate produced by Linturi had discrepancies.

Interrogate issues

The judge said the certified copy of the marriage certificate is dated December 28, 2018, which means it was obtained a few days after the petition was filed by Kitany on December 17.

“The authenticity of the documents has been challenged and it is important therefore to interrogate this issue,” he said.

According to the Magistrate, the signatures appearing on the marriage record are different which gives to credence Kitany’s argument.

“The certified copy of the certificate has a provision to have the name of the person who typed the certificate and also the one who checked it, these details are conspicuously missing from the certified copy and it is not known who appended the signatures thereof,” he said.

Linturi through lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu, had claimed that Kitany’s prayer for divorce cannot be granted as she was not legally married to him.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, however, Kitany said she intends to question the “validity of the Christian marriage Linturi purports to have”.

The case will be heard on July 23 to 25.

“Divorce can only be granted if the marriage is legally valid. It will be a waste of time for this case to proceed to full trial since the respondent had no capacity to enter into any form of marriage with the petitioner,” said Muthomi.

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