Meru Senator Mithika Linturi estranged’s wife Marianne Kitany yesterday told a court that she spent millions of shillings, including paying rent for the legislator, while they were together.
Kitany also told Nairobi Chief Magistrate Peter Gisore how an elaborate Kalenjin ceremony that was attended by members of Linturi’s family, was held to formalise their marriage.
“Even though he (Linturi) doesn’t like mursik (traditional fermented milk), he took it because it is a requirement in the Kalenjin tradition during such ceremonies,” Kitany told an attentive court.
The former chief of staff in Deputy President William Ruto’s office, told the court that when they decided to make their relationship formal, they acquired a house in the upmarket Runda suburb which cost Sh110 million to accommodate their six children.
She said the senator had moved in with his three children after he failed to clear arrears for his rented house in 2014.
“I paid Sh30 million for the (Runda) house… we got the other amount from Atticon Company which we were both managing,” she told the court.
Kitany, who claims to have spent Sh26 million from her pocket to renovate Linturi’s Meru rural house which had cost Sh40 million to build, told the court that she believed she was renovating her home.
She was testifying in a divorce case that she has filed against the politician who claims she was “just a visitor” in his home and that he could not have been married to her as he was already in a legally recognised relationship.
However, Kitany has dismissed the claims, saying she used to pay house rent for Linturi when he was broke and had rent arrears, before they moved into the Runda home.
“The rent problems is one of the reasons I accommodated him in my house. He used to have rent arrears and at some point I gave him Sh200,000 for rent,” she told the court.
Kitany, who was being cross examined by her lawyer Danstan Omari, claimed to have spent another Sh8 million to build and furnish Linturi’s parents’ house in Riaki in Meru.
“I told him as we renovate the Meru house, I would also want to do his parents’ house. We met his parents and he mentioned it to them and they were very excited,” she said.
Kitany further told the magistrate that she paid Sh11 million for a trip to five cities in Australia with all the children and Linturi. The Senator did not make any contribution, she said.
“We wanted the children to bond and because my son was in Australia then, the whole family went to Australia in December 2014 for him to meet his new siblings,” she told the court.
Prior to that, Kitany said the six children had accompanied her to Zanzibar where Linturi joined them for a two-week holiday.
The court heard that the family also made a trip to Mauritius in December 2015 with all the children, which she said cost her Sh800,000.
“The only help he gave was in 2015 when he paid school fees for one of my children and his children,” she told the court.
Kitany told the court the senator convinced her in June 2015 not to go back to government after she had been forced to step down over corruption allegations.
“He told me not to go back to the government and instead join him in his business as I had an eye for business,” she said.
She further revealed that Linturi had confided in her that he had been married to three other women before her but had divorced all of them.
According to Kitany, Linturi proposed to marry her on February 14, 2016 at a Meru hotel where he had taken her together with his friends and family.
“That is where the idea of going to Nandi was discussed… I was happy we were going to formalise the union,” she said.
She further told the court that they planned and travelled with 19 others to Nandi county where a Nandi customary ceremony was performed and later a Meru customary marriage.
“My uncle Andrew Chepkwony asked him whether he was married to any other woman; he said he wasn’t and even produced a document showing he was divorced,” she said.
The court heard the Nandi customary marriage took place inside the house and afterwards, Meru customary marriage rituals were conducted outside. She said that while Linturi had to drink mursik during the ceremony, she chewed miraa.
According to Kitany, Linturi paid Sh100,000 dowry instead of four cows that he was supposed to give, according to Nandi culture, besides gifting her mother a Nissan X-Trail car.