Residents of Lelechonik Village in Mauche Ward in Njoro Constituency, Nakuru County are reeling from shock after two youthful couples swapped spouses in a move said to be unprecedented in the area.
Patrick Ng’etich, 31, told K24 Digital that his wife, Mercy Ng’etich, 22, had been secretly seeing their 27-year-old neighbour, Justine Koech, since 2013.
Patrick said he had warned Mercy against the illicit affair, but his concerns fell on deaf ears.
In 2018, Koech was summoned by local elders, and after the case was heard, he was asked to commit in writing that he would stop entertaining Patrick’s wife. Koech accepted the verdict.
However, Koech and Mercy failed to end their illicit relationship.
In November 2019, Patrick filed a report at Tarakwa Police Station, in which he complained that Koech was wrecking his marriage.
“Police officers at Tarakwa asked my wife if she was ready to leave me for Koech, and she answered in the affirmative. The law enforcement officers also asked me if I was ready to let go of Mercy, and, I said ‘yes’, given I had had enough of her infidelity,” Patrick told K24 Digital.
Koech’s 23-year-old wife, Sheila Koech, on the other hand, was asked if she would accept Patrick as her new spouse, and she said “yes”.
Sheila moved in to Patrick’s house with her two children from her previous marriage with Koech which lasted 12 years. Their kids are aged 5 and 7.
Mercy, who is originally Patrick’s spouse, moved in to Koech’s house with her four children from her former marriage. The kids are aged between 2 and 9.
Patrick’s new wife, Sheila, claims that Koech used to threaten and mistreat her every time she would inquire why he was having an illicit affair with Mercy, who was a married woman.
Patrick says he is now at peace “after my adulterous wife left me”.
“The wife-swapping arrangement was much better than resorting to violence to settle our differences,” he said.
“However, I would be lying if I say that thoughts of killing Koech did not cross my mind, they did. However, I prayed about it and tried the much I could to remain calm under the circumstances,” he said.
When asked by K24 Digital why he married a woman, who was a minor (13 years old) at the time they first met — in 2010 — , Patrick said: “That is Mercy’s age as per her ID card, and you know ID card numbers are based on the year you apply for one. I suspect she is older, and only applied for the ID card much later. I am told by her family members that she was born in 1992. That means, I married her when she was of age; 18 years.”
Koech, on the other hand, wasn’t reachable to respond to claims that he married Sheila — in 2007 — , when she was only 11 years old, which is a crime under the Kenyan Law.
Attempts by K24 Digital to reach the families of Mercy and Sheila for comment were unsuccessful.