Rodah Chepkoech, Maryanne Kitany’s mother, on Tuesday gave her testimony in the divorce case pitting the former chief of staff at Deputy President William Ruto and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi.
The 65-year-old told the court that prior to the couple’s traditional union on March 26, 2016, the senator was asked whether he genuinely loved Kitany or if he was after her money.
She noted that she posed the question when Linturi arrived in Nandi to pay Kitany’s dowry.
“In 2016, my daughter told me that she wanted to bring Linturi home so that he could pay dowry. I welcomed the plan. I, therefore, invited my relatives from Kericho,” said Chepkoech.
Prior to the dowry payment date, she told the court that they met at a local church during a fundraising ceremony that was attended by Linturi and his friends in the political circles.
“He came to the church where I am a preacher accompanied by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, the now-Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, now-Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, among other leaders. During the harambee, Linturi gave us Ksh1 million.
The leaders, who had arrived in Nandi in six choppers, thereafter flew to my home, located near the church. I prepared them lunch. They ate and left,” said Chepkoech.
Chepkoech stated that Linturi paid Ksh100, 000 as dowry for her daughter.
“The dowry was supposed to be in the form of animals, but Linturi’s team said it would be cumbersome to transport animals all the way from Meru. So, they gave us cash – Ksh100, 000 – as dowry.
She added, “All through the dowry negotiation process, Maryanne was locked up in a room. Once we had agreed on the dowry, she was asked to come and identify her man. She was asked if she was sure she wanted to marry Linturi, she said ‘yes’. She was asked if she loved him, she said ‘yes’.”
The court heard that Linturi was asked the same questions to which he answered in the affirmative.
“He was asked if he was sure he loved Maryanne and not her wealth, he said he loved her genuinely, and not her money,” she added.
The witness told the court that she has visited Linturi’s Meru home severally as an “in-law”.
“I went to Meru and met Linturi’s father during the 2016 Christmas holiday,” said Chepkoech.
This, she said, however, changed when Linturi started threatening Kitany and even kicking her out of her Runda home.
“Later, I heard that my daughter had been thrown out of her Runda home. Her children were screaming for help, my daughter and her sister were crying out in the open,” the court heard.
In the divorce case, Kitany insists that she tied the knot with Linturi on March 26, 2016, under the Meru and Nandi customary laws.
She last month told the court that Linturi had informed her that he was single and available having divorced three wives; Susan Gacheri Kimani, Mercy and Hellen Mumbi Kariuki: “I came in as the fourth wife” she said.
However, Lintuti argues that the two were not legally married and that Kitany knew he was married.
It’s on this ground that the senator says Kitany’s divorce prayer can not be granted.