A divorce case pitting Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Maryanne Kitany has been transferred to Nairobi from Meru after the court dismissed an application barring its transfer.
Milimani High court family division Judge Habida Aroni allowed an application by Kitany to have the case moved to a Nairobi court.
Linturi had objected to Kitany transfer application at the Commercial division of Milimani Court.
Kitany expressed fear that her life will be at grave danger especially when her presence is required in Meru court where they shared a matrimonial home.
In his objection the Senator had told the court that High Court lacks jurisdiction to transfer the matter.
Linturi had based his argument on the substantive law of divorce and marriage act 2014, all divorce matters were transferred to the magistrate’s courts.
“Magistrates courts in Meru should be the place for Kitany’s application for transfer,” said Linturi.
However Danstan Omari who is representing Kitany objected to Linturi argument.
Omari cited Section 18 of the Civil Procedure Act that said that the questions of transfer matters from a subordinate courts squarely relies on the High Court.
“The applicant is apprehensive that her life will be in danger should the divorce petition being Cause Number 26 of 2018, is heard in Meru, Linturi’s home area,” said Omari.
The file will now be transferred from Meru to Milimani for a mention before the Chief Magistrates on March 28, 2019.
In his submissions Omari argued that both Kitany and Linturi resides in Nairobi and therefore the Milimani Chief Magistrates’ Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine the said divorce petition.
“After I filed the petition and upon service to Linturi I received death threats which threats I have now reported at the Department of Criminal investigations,” said Kitany in her affidavit.
Kitany said that Linturi’s voters might harm her should she travel to Meru.
“The proceedings in Meru Chief Magistrate’s court Divorce Cause number 26 of 2918 ought to be stayed as this application is being heard and determined,” said Omari.
According to Linturi,the court has no jurisdiction to grant divorce or any other matrimonial relief in the absence of a valid marriage between Kitany and him.
He said Kitany has filed multiple suits against him anchored on the alleged customary marriage.
Linturi has argued that a party to a monogamous marriage cannot enter into a customary marriage with a different person.
The High Court in January ordered the preservation of properties jointly owned by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi and Marianne Kitany, pending the determination of a case she has filed.
At the same time, Justice John Onyiego barred Mr Linturi from interfering with Ms Kitany’s stay at their jointly owned property in Runda, pending the hearing of the case.
Among the properties the court ordered to be preserved are the Runda home, two vehicles, monies deposited in several accounts and parcels of land in Kajiado County.
Justice Onyiego noted that an eviction carried out by Linturi on December 19, was unlawful and meant to defeat the outcome of the case.