Former chief of staff at Deputy President William Ruto’s office Marianne Kitany Wednesday narrated how her estranged husband, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, visited her parents’ home in Nandi for bride price negotiations.
Ms Kitany told chief magistrate Peter Gesora that Mr Linturi was accompanied by 19 people, among them his brother and uncles, together with their wives. She said the group from Igembe in Meru came in two vehicles.
And after negotiations, which took several hours, the Senator, then Igembe South MP, agreed to pay Sh100,000 bride price. He also gifted Kitany’s mother, Rhoda, with a new Nissan X-trail.
“He told my mother that she could use the vehicle to go shopping, fetch water from the river and run errands because her daughter would no longer be available to do the job,” she said.
They then left Kapchemosin village in Nandi South as husband and wife. Asked by her lawyer, Mr Danstan Omari, about those who had accompanied Mr Linturi, Ms Kitany said the delegation was headed by a Rufus Miriti and his wife.
As part of celebrating both Meru and Nandi cultures, Ms Kitany said, Mr Linturi had to drink mursik (sour milk), although “he doesn’t like milk”, while she had to chew miraa (khat). She said the family from Meru brought a lot of foodstuff for their new in-laws.
Asked by Mr Omari why Mr Linturi’s parents were not part of the delegation, she said he had told her that according to Meru culture, parents cannot visit a prospective in-law’s home after their son leaves his first wife.
Ms Kitany narrated how Mr Linturi moved in with her and her children in Kileleshwa. She said he had been renting a house on Ngong Road but would occasionally fall behind with the rent, and that she once bailed him out with Sh200,000.
She said that, after solemnising their union, the family — her three children and his children — went to Zanzibar to bond. She said she sponsored the trip.
Ms Kitany has filed for divorce, accusing the senator of cruelty, neglect, desertion, adultery and denial of conjugal rights. They lived together at their Runda home until September last year, when he kicked her out, but she obtained orders allowing her to stay in the house pending the determination of the divorce proceedings.
But Mr Linturi has dismissed the claims of marriage, saying the case was malicious and meant to deprive him of his properties, which he acquired single-handedly. He said there she had no proof of her contribution towards the acquisition of the properties.
He said in a statement filed in court that the circumstances under which she moved into the Runda house do not, and cannot, justify the imputation of cohabitation, marriage or a domestic relationship between them.
The case was adjourned to August 28.