A court has ruled that living in a man’s house and adding their name on your identification card, does not mean you are married.
Justice Kanyi Kimondo based in a Murang’a court, refused to grant Rose Wangui the liberty to inherit Stephen Ngigi’s land despite having his name on her ID.
Despite living with Stephen for three years, the judge ruled that Rose could not acquire the land because there was no proof that he had conducted all the Gikuyu customary marriage rites like paying the bride price.
To support her case, Rose came Stephen’s funeral pictures, funeral programme and a letter from the chief listing her as one of the survivors. She also argued that Stephen had purchased two pieces of land for her mother as the bride price.
Stephen owned a construction company and over 40 properties when he passed on at 78. However, the deceased’s daughter Faith Wangui, claimed that Rose was only a house help and she wanted a share of Stephen’s land out of “pure greed”.
In another property case in Ngong’ a woman went to court to claim the proceeds from the sale of a house in Ngong’.
The woman, only identified as NMM claimed that she knew a man called JM in 2009 and started living in his house in 2016 though he was based in the US. JM had a wife in the US, that NMM was well aware of.
Though JM had not sired her child, he catered for the child’s needs.
NMM argued that she had contributed Sh840,000 to the building of the house in question. She added that JM had visited her parents and gifted her father Sh100,000. JM was also present at NMM’s father’s funeral. Therefore, NMM was convinced that those gestures were proof of love and customary marriage.
NMM’s brother and brother-in-law also testified that she was JM’s wife.
However, JM denied ever marrying NMM and said that she was just a friend whom she had allowed to live in his house. JM also told the court that he attended the funeral as a friend and built the house using a loan of Sh1.6 million that he had acquired from Kenya Commercial Bank in 2013.
JM said that he repaid the loan without NMM’s assistance and the house was completed three years before NMM moved in.
Justice Chacha Mwita, therefore, ruled that NMM did not deserve to get the money from the sale of the house because she had not contributed to the building of that house.
“It is clear to this court that the plaintiff made a faint attempt to get from the defendant what she was not entitled to,” Justice Mwita ruled.