By Diana Gitau
Mithika Linturi’s first wife, Mercy Kaimenyi, was listed as a daughter-in-law of the Meru Senator’s Late father, Peter Linturi, who was buried at his rural home in Igembe South, Meru County.
Peter’s eulogy snubbed former DP William Ruto’s chief of staff, Marianne Kitany, who is in court claiming she is legally married to Senator Linturi.
Kitany says she tied the knot with Mithika in a traditional ceremony in April, 2016.
Mithika Linturi, on the other hand, denies that he exchanged wedding vows with Kitany. According to the senator, the mother-of-three only sneaked her way into his life and home as a “visitor”.
In a letter dated January 10, 2019, filed at the High Court Family Division in Nairobi, Linturi said he never divorced his first wife, Mercy Kaimenyi, whom he married in April 2005 at Tigania Catholic Parish in Meru.
Appearing in court early September, Kitany, however, denied being aware of the existence of an active marriage between Mercy and Mithika.
She said she saw the marriage certificate between Linturi and Mercy for the first time in January 2018.
“It is a document of a certain marriage celebrated on April 8, 2000. I didn’t know Linturi at that time. I did not attend that function,” claimed Kitany.
“On April 8, 2000, I had just finished my degree and I was also working at GlaxoSmithKline.”
When asked whether she could confirm whether Linturi and Mercy were married at that time based on the certificate, she said she couldn’t confirm the same.
Kitany said only the Registrar of Marriages could confirm whether the document was a valid marriage certificate.
She told the court that a document generated by Tigania Catholic Church was not proof of marriage between the two.
On Monday, September 16, Kitany, through her lawyer, Danstan Omari, said she would attend her “father-in-law’s burial according to the African tradition”.
“The burial of my client’s father in law is tomorrow [Tuesday, September 17] and I do confirm that my client will attend the funeral. We have done all arrangements to attend and give the Late Linturi the respect he deserves as a father-in-law,” Omari told journalists outside the Milimani Law Courts on Monday.
Omari added that he will accompany Kitany to Meru, alongside her relatives from Nandi and Kericho.
“It is the honour and respect of a deceased father-in-law. She has a moral, cultural, legal and philosophical basis to attend the funeral,” said Omari.
However, on Tuesday, neither Kitany nor Omari was spotted at the burial ceremony. It remains unclear why the duo did not attend the function despite Omari’s earlier statement.
-DP Ruto attends-
Peter Linturi’s burial was attended by, among others, Deputy President William Ruto, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, his Tharaka Nithi counterpart Muthomi Njuki, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka, MPs Kirima Nguchine (Imenti Central), Kathuri Muringi (Imenti South), Mugambi Rindikiri (Buuri), Gichunge Kabeabea (Tigania East), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Mpuri Aburi (EALA) and Kirinyaga Woman Rep Wangui Ngirici.
The mourners converged at Athi Primary School in Igembe South, where a funeral service was held before the deceased was laid to rest at his rural home.
Speakers at the event steered clear of the ongoing divorce case between Senator Linturi and Kitany.