Ms Rhoda Kitany, the mother of Ms Marianne Kitany, yesterday told a Nairobi court how Meru Senator Mithika Linturi gifted her a car after marrying her daughter.
Recalling the traditional ceremony, which was held at her Kapchemosin village home in Nandi South on March 26, 2016, Ms Kitany said she was grateful for the car which Mr Linturi bequeathed her.
“Thank you, my son-in-law. It has really helped me, even in spreading the word of God. Here are the keys. The vehicle is parked outside,” she said as she dangled the car keys.
Apart from the vehicle, which she said is still registered in the name of a company co-owned by her daughter and Mr Linturi, the 65-year-old pastor told the court that “the family from Meru came to Nandi with foodstuff in a pick-up and gave them Sh100,000 bride price.”
“The money was handed to my brother-in-law, who gave my daughter’s hand in marriage to mheshimiwa (honourable),” she said, noting that her husband died in 2000. She said the bride price was to be paid in form of animals but “it was converted to money and was handed to him (brother-in-law) in a white envelope.”
The pastor said that before the ceremony in 2016, Mr Linturi had visited her home on several occasions, once accompanied by a number of MPs and senators for a fundraiser at the African Gospel Church Kaptumo.
Ms Kitany recalled that the MPs came in six choppers and Mr Linturi donated Sh1 million. “We managed to collect Sh4.2 million. The residents still remember him and will forever be grateful,” she said.
She also told the court that sometime in 2014, her daughter, together with Mr Linturi and their children, travelled to Australia to bond. But it was not until 2016 that they formalised their union.
“We agreed with the family and settled for April 16 (2016) but she changed the dates to March 26 because he (Linturi) wanted it to fall on the Easter period. I invited elders and villagers as per Nandi traditions,” the pastor said. She added that six elders represented the family from Nandi while from Meru, there were four elders.
Ms Kitany also said she visited her daughter’s home in Meru and took the occasion to visit her in-laws.
She said all was well until August last year when Mr Linturi and Marianne started having problems in their marriage. “It was to do with finances and how she was not safe at home,” she said, adding that she learnt that Mr Linturi had used title deeds to her plots of land without her consent.
“He promised to return the titles the following Tuesday. But he has never returned them to date,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ms Kitany will be seeking summons against East African Legislative Assembly MP Mpuru Aburi for allegedly threatening witnesses with “curses and the wrath of the Njuri Ncheke” during the burial of Mr Linturi’s father last week.
However, lawyer Muthomi Thiankolu for Mr Linturi said he could not respond to claims that had not been filed in court. Chief magistrate Peter Gesora directed Ms Kitany’s lawyer, Danstan Omari, to file a formal application.
Mr Linturi has denied marrying Ms Kitany and has said he is still married to Ms Mercy Kaimenyi.
Other than divorce, Ms Kitany will be asking the court to compel them to have equal maintenance and provision of school fees for their children. She also wants to have custody of the children- his three and three of hers, saying they had bonded and used to call her mother.
The hearing continues Wednesday