13 September 2018

Kenya: Court Orders Man to Pay Bride Price in Landmark Verdict That Will Shake Marriages

A man whose daughter eloped with a lover while she was in high school has won a precedent-setting verdict that will see him being paid bride price by his son in-law.

Benard Simiyu Festo, a resident of Mengo Farm in Saboti sub -county, had moved to court seeking orders to compel Isaac Sifuna Mukhebi to pay bride price after living with his daughter for 10 years.

Mr Sifuna eloped with Branice Naliaka in 2013 when she was an 18-year-old high student. The two are currently staying as husband and wife and have two children.

On Thursday, Kitale's Resident Magistrate Mary Nyang'ara Osoro granted Mr Simiyu his wishes and ordered his son-in-law to pay the bride price in the next seven days or risk being auctioned.

The bride price includes 10 heads of cattle, two goats, Sh10, 000, two blankets, one coat, a 'godfather' hat and gumboots.

"My daughter who is now 23 year old, she disappeared from home only to be discovered that she was staying with Sifuna. This is after I have searched for her everywhere," Mr Simiyu had told the court.

DISHONOURED AGREEMENT

He accused Mr Patrick Bulima and his son Sifuna of not honouring an agreement to pay part of the bride price.

He claimed that the defendants had on September, 2016 agreed in writing that they will pay a deposit of two cows, but had since reneged on their promise.

Mr Bulima, who was the first defendant, admitted that he failed to honor the agreement but requested the court for more time to pay the bride price.

The Magistrate, in her verdict, found that the plaintiff had proved his case.

"I am persuaded by the testimony before court and referred texts that the plaintiff has proved his case to the required standard," she ruled.

"I hold that the first defendant as the father of the groom is indebted to the plaintiff to pay 'Bukhwi' (bride price).

She also issued a seven-day warrant to claim any property if the dowry will not be paid.

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