The divorce case pitting Mithika Linturi and his estranged wife Maryanne Kitany continued on Wednesday with Kitany supplying the court with photos as approve that she was married to Linturi under the Nandi and Meru customary laws.
Testifying before Milimani Chief Magistrate Peter Gisore, Kitany stated that she was married to Linturi on March 26, 2016.
This was after she divorced her previous spouse in 2015. A 30-day decree nisi, which was issued by the court on December 4, 2015, elapsed on January 3, 2016.
During the Wednesday court proceedings, the court played a slide show of images provided by Kitany, which she said were taken during the 2016 disputed marriage ceremony.
The former Chief of Staff at the Deputy President William Ruto’s office, led by her lawyer Danstan Omari, explained to the court the contents of the photos.
Kitany, using the photos as evidence, told the court that Linturi, in the presence of families members from both sides, witnessed the formalizing of the couple’s customary marriage.
In the first slide, the two had a bite of miraa in the presence of Kitany’s paternal uncle, Andrew, who represented her late father in the ceremony. Also present was Kitany’s uncle whom she identified as Naphtali.
Mary Kitany: “This is me chewing miraa. This is Senator Mithika Linturi giving me the miraa. He was happy he was getting a wife.”
“before the ceremony I had never chewed miraa, ” Kitany told the court.
Another photo that followed showed Kitany feeding Linturi a piece of cake on her birthday and she informed the court that he composed a poem for her.
Another slide showed the two, dressed in jubilee, celebrating the senator’s win in 2017 with area women.
Kitany also showed the court their house in Runda, adding that she went to Dubai and Egypt to look for the house materials.
Kitany is also expected to show the court photos of Linturi drinking mursik (tradition fermented milk).
Last week, she told the court that Linturi drunk mursik to seal the marriage.
“Even though he (Linturi) doesn’t like mursik, he took it because it’s a requirement in Kalenjin tradition. For the sake of my marriage, I also tasted miraa,” she added.
In his court documents, Linturi argues that he was not married to Kitany, saying he was already in a Christian marriage, which was monogamous.
He states that Kitany’s prayer for divorce cannot be granted, as she was not legally married to him.
“Divorce can only be granted if the marriage is legally valid. It will be a waste of time for this case to proceed to a full trial since the respondent had no capacity to enter into any form of marriage with the petitioner,” said his lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu in court documents.
Meanwhile, the court ruled that the divorce case will continue to be heard in public.
This follows an application that complained of distorted reports in the media about the case.
The presiding magistrate, however, cautioned journalists against misreporting and further directing that they comply with media guidelines.
The two have been embroiled in a bitter divorce which saw Linturi receive an injunction not to remove Kitany from their Runda home.