After ten years of living as husband and wife, a man moved to court to end his marriage when he could not put up with his wife’s abusive and drunkard nature. But the court ruling left him speechless.
For the second time, the lad, named JAM lost a divorce case against the wife, SNM twice on account that he could not prove that he had paid dowry and that although the two had lived together for a decade, he did not have documents or witnesses to show that they were married.
In his first round, he told the court, that his wife was abusive and a drunkard and since he married him as a second wife and she came into the marriage with three children she was unwilling to bear more children and abused those of his first wife.
“She is a drunkard, abusive and cruel to me as well as my children and my first wife. Due to her conduct, the marriage has irretrievably broken down to the extent that no amount of amends can save it and that I can no longer bear the verbal and psychological abuses she puts me through and the marriage should, therefore, be dissolved,” he testified.
He lost the case unopposed. In 2018, he moved to the High Court in Nyamira in 2018 to challenge the ruling, arguing that the magistrate ignored that fact that he was unchallenged as his wife did not file a response in the case. But he failed to convince the court because he had no evidence that he had lived with the woman before the 2014 Marriage Act came into force.
“I am not persuaded that the appellant proved his case on a balance of probabilities. In the first place he did not, apart from asserting he married the respondent in April 2008, prove there was a marriage. Whereas prior to the Marriage Act 2014 even a long period of cohabitation was recognized as a marriage, the petitioner did not adduce evidence of such cohabitation. He did not call any witnesses to prove that he had indeed lived with the respondent as his wife since 2008,” ruled Justice Maina.
His dowry free customary arrangement failed to provide tangible proof in the face of the law.