It was a big win for a 52-year-old man seeking a dowry refund from his in-laws after the Kitale Court granted his wish.
On Saturday at around 9.30 am Mr Wilberforce Saenyi Murunga and his brother Fred Matumbayi proceeded to Kiungani at the Chief’s office in Baraton to pick his three cows and a goat from in-laws.
This is after the Kitale mediation court ordered that three cows, a she-goat and Sh20, 000 be given back to Mr Murunga.
Initially, Murunga had paid Sh50,000, three Ayrshire heifers, one cross Ayrshire bullock, one she-goat, one pair of gumboots and a hat as bride price. That was on April 27, 2019, at his Bungoma home.
However, in the undersigned parties agreement, Mr Murunga forfeited one cow and Sh30, 000 as token of appreciation and the rest of the items.
“I am excited and happy that the court has done justice for me. Since the aggressor happens to be a lawyer I never thought I would win this case and I thank God,” Mr Murunga told Nairobi News.
According to Murunga, his ex-wife had told him that she would walk over the case but his determination kept him going “and I believe everyone is equal before the law does not matter your status”.
He says that his in laws were unable to provide all the animals and money due to the harsh economy.
The animals would be transported to his village home in Chwele, Bungoma for the Balunda clan to confirm.
“Now we are officially not husband and wife anymore. She is free to move on and likewise since the dowry has been refunded back,” he explained.
He called upon men suffering in silence to come out of their comfort zone and trust in court for justice.
April 14, 2022, a Kitale court referred the case to mediation.
Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar said that a court mediator would be appointed to settle the matter.
If the matter is not settled, it will go back to the court for a judgment, he said.
Mr Murunga insisted in court that it is his right to get back his dowry, arguing that he was representing men who suffer in silence.
Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar told the court that a court mediator would be appointed to settle the matter.
“I have decided to refer this case to court annexed mediation for possible settlement. I do not see anything difficult in resolving the matter. Let’s try this one first and in the event the matter is not settled then it will come back to me for judgment,” the magistrate said.
Mr Wilberforce Murunga insisted in court that it is his right to get back his dowry, arguing that he was representing men who suffer in silence.
“I had issues with my ex-wife, like children. Customarily, if we had a son, that is two cows and a girl that is one cow. So I demand what is mine and my black sweat,” he said.
Mr Murunga is expected to go back to the United States in May.
He sought divorce from Irine Khasoa on the grounds that she had deserted their matrimonial home. The marriage was dissolved on October 12, 2021 by a Kitale court.
He said in court documents filed on December 6, 2021 that he lived with his ex-wife for about one year and six months when she started deserting their matrimonial home on several occasions.