Former finance manager at KARI James Mutele outside Milimani Commercial Court in Nairobi after he was allowed to burry his late wife Beatrice Wabusya a former lecture at Kisiii Technical University on Tuesday May 2,2017/PHOTO BY S.A.N.

“A valid customary luhya marriage existed between the two,”magistrate Agnes Makau ruled.


Politician to burry wife despite separation for a period of 16 years.

Senior Resident Magistrate Agnes Makau delivering a verdict in the two month plus legal battle on who between the husband and the brothers of the deceased ,ruled that the two (the deceased and the husband )were still married since there was no prove of divorce tendered before the court.

The two had been married for a period of 8 year and together they had five children. However the couple separated 16 years ago following a dispute.

“I find that the plaintiff is legally married to the deceased. There is proof they had married, and that he paid dowry for her in spite of their separation. The marriage had not been dissolved through customary means or in the court of law,” Makau ruled.

According to the papers filed by the husband –James Mutele, his in laws blocked him from seeing the body at the mortuary and attending burial meetings prompting him to file a civil sit at the Milimani Commercial courts.

Mutele a former Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KARI ) director in his court documents, he lived with the deceased Beatrice Wabusya a former lecture at Kisiii Technical University. He told the court that during their stay he paid the family of the deceased some animals, money and other food stuffs as part of dowry and as the luhya culture demands.

He further refuted claims by his brother in-law that he the two were never married and never received any dowry payment from him. During the hearing the mother in -law denied that her daughter was married to Mutele adding that she never saw animals paid as dowry.

The court in its ruling however noted that in Luhya culture women are not part of dowry negotiations thereby dismissing the evidence of the mother.

“It’s clear that some money and animals were received by the plaintiff parents, I’m therefore not convinced by the mother’s testimony,” Magistrate Makau ruled.

The magistrate further noted that the fact 5that there was prove that part of the dowry was paid then the two remain to be husband and wife since the same was not dissolved customarily.

In the absence of the deceased written will, the court gave Mutele the go ahead to continue with the burial plans for his wife who died in March this year.

The court observed that the petitioner was in close communication with the deceased and even visited her while she was admitted at hospital until her death. The couple had five children.