A secondary school teacher has won a landmark legal battle against his estranged wife after Appeal Court judges granted him divorce and ordered her to refund the money he had paid as bride price.
The 45-year-old deputy principal, Mr James Mayaka, will also receive a refund of college fees he had paid for his wife, Ms Everline Kerubo Makini, 42, at Narok Teacher’s college between 2002 and 2004.
Ms Makini had appealed against an earlier ruling by the High Court in Kisii in February 2015 but judges Wanjiru Karanja, Festus Azangalala and Gatembu Kairu ruled last week that the appeal case had no merit and upheld the finding of the lower court.
Speaking to the Nation on the telephone, an elated Mayaka said he had finally got justice after a six-year court battle.
The High Court had ordered Ms Makini to refund Sh205,000, being part payment for bride price and the fees paid for her college education, plus interest.
Mr Mayaka had petitioned the court to order Ms Makini to pay back the Sh209,000 he paid for her at the college and that she also be ordered to refund the Sh120,000 bride price.
But the court ordered Ms Makini to refund part of the amount for each category; Sh104,000 for college fees and Sh60,000 for dowry, amounting to Sh164,000.
The figure, however, rises to Sh205,000 after factoring in the interest.
Mr Mayaka who is from Mosebeti village in Nyamira County welcomed the ruling saying: “I am happy that there is justice for the oppressed.”
He said he will now concentrate on fighting for the custody of their two children aged 11 and 13 in a court in Nyamira.
“She took our children and I would want to legally have them back because I know they are suffering,” he said, adding that his estranged wife deserted their matrimonial home in 2009. They were married under Kisii customary law in 2000 and solemnised their wedding in 2004 at the Nyamira District Commissioner’s office.
He encouraged men facing similar circumstances to seek justice, adding: “Many are just ignorant and do not know that they can seek and get justice from courts.”