13 October 2017

Kenya: Kitale Farmer Sues Son-in-Law in Row Over Bride Price

A farmer on Thursday took his son-in-law to court for failing to pay him the bride price.

Mr Protus Wanyama Mamati accused Patrick Wanjala Marango of pulling his daughter Jackline out of school, eloping with her and ignoring calls to observe marriage traditions.

Jackline was in Form 3 at Kitale's Sirende Secondary School in 2011, when Marango convinced her to abandon studies for marriage, Mamati told Kitale Resident Magistrate Peter Wasike.

"My daughter was doing very well in school until she was pulled out for marriage. Up to now the man has never bothered to come to us for a formal introduction or even pay dowry. It is just like he stole my daughter," Mr Mamati said and asked the court to compel the son to observe the Bukusu rites and traditions to the letter.


Mr Mamati caused laughter in court when he said his son in-law ought to have started paying up by buying him a hat as he saved money to settle the rest.

The son had neither visited his home to formally introduce himself and neither had he ever sent any token of appreciation in the six years he had been living with his daughter, he said and demanded Sh50, 000 for himself, Sh25, 000 for his wife, 13 cows, two goats, two blankets, two bed sheets, one hat, a pair of gumboots and 20 litres of paraffin.

Mr Mamati also said he had tried to reach out to the son several times without success. Marango admitted he had paid no bride price but had asked his wife's family to be patient with him, promising to settle everything in the fullness of time. He said they have three children and that he respected his community's marriage traditions and intended to abide by them.


"I have never refused to pay my father-in-law the bride-price. All I needed was time to make arrangements in order to invite them and we settle this matter properly," he said, adding that his pleas to be allowed to pay up in instalments had been flatly rejected.

"We have tried to solve this matter at home but in vain since he insists he want the payment in full. He says I have wasted his daughter's time," said Mr Marango.

Mr Marango's father said both families had had a meeting and that they failed to reach a deal since he had only two cows out of the requirement of 13 in addition to two goats.

"Protus and I met but we could not agree. I told him that I have only two cows but he insisted on 13 and two goats so we left it there but he has been threatening me with court action and here we are," he said. The case will be heard on November 16.


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