A 21-year-old man has pleaded with a Mombasa court to allow him to work to raise a Ksh10,000 dowry payment for a woman he wants to marry.
Kwizera Aime, a Burundian refugee, had been arrested for the offence of escaping from Kakuma camp and residing outside a designated area without permission from the Kenyan authorities.
Appearing in court on Monday, November 28, Aime pleaded with Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku not to send him to jail, saying he only ran away from the refugee camp in search of greener pastures to change his fortunes and marry the love of his life.
"Nakubali mashataka yangu ila sababu iliyonifanya nitoroke Kakuma ni kuwa ni naye mchumba wangu,ambaye nataka kumuoa lakini sina uwezo wa kupelekea wazazi wake kitu kidogo ndio wanipatie msichana wao," he pleaded.
Loosely translated, "It is true I left Kakuma Refugee camp, however, the reason l ran away is l have my fiancee who l want to marry but l have nothing to give to her parents as dowry."
Magistrate touched by refugee's plea
Mutuku, who seemed to have been touched by the plight of the young man, enquired on the whereabouts of the would-be wife and the amount required as dowry.
"And how old are you, and where is the woman you are in love with? How much does her family require to hand over the woman to you for marriage? Posed the magistrate.
In fluent Swahili, the accused said he needed about Ksh10,000 to marry the woman.
He requested to be taken back to Kakuma to obtain all the required documents before leaving the refugee camp in search of work.
Mutuku said the suspect had been pardoned and allowed to obtain the required documents from the camp before engaging in any work-related activities.
"I have forgiven you. Go back and obtain all the documents to allow you to work. I wish you all the best in your marriage,” the magistrate said.
Aime had been charged with residing outside the designated area, without permission from Kenyan authorities.
The charge sheet read that in November this year at Bombololu area in Nyali sub-county within Mombasa county he was found residing outside a designated area namely Kakuma Refugee camp without permission from authorities.