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Akothee divorces Omosh: Steps singer took to file for a divorce after 2 months of marriage

By Winnie Mabel November 2nd, 2023 3 min read

Kenyan controversial musician Esther Akoth, popularly known as Akothee, recently spoke about her recent short lived marriage to Swiss partner Denis Schweizer, alias Omosh.

The two tied the knot in an extravagant wedding attended by the who is who in society including politicians, their spouses, entertainment celebrities and social media influencers.

Following the April 2022 wedding, two months later, Akothee walked out of the marriage, saying she had discovered some things about her husband while they were on their honeymoon. She claimed June and July were tough months for her and is currently in the process of filing for a divorce.

According to the Marriage Act, 2014, marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman, whether in a monogamous or polygamous union and registered in accordance with this Act. Parties to a marriage have equal rights and obligations at the time of the marriage, during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage. A person shall not marry unless that person has attained the age of eighteen years.

The prohibited marriage relationships are marrying family including step family, a spouse’s family member, a person adopted by the person intending to marry or any other person prohibited under customary law.

“A union is not a marriage if at the time of the making of the union—(a)either party is below the minimum age for marriage; (b) the parties are within the prohibited marriage relationship; (c) either party is incompetent to marry by reason of a subsisting marriage; (d) by order made under section 25, the court has directed that the intended marriage is not to be contracted;(e) the consent of either party has not been freely given; (f) either party is absent from the ceremony; (g) both parties knowingly and willfully permit a person who is not authorised to do so to celebrate the union; (h) either party is mistaken about the identity of the other party; or (i)
either party knowingly or willfully enters into the marriage for fraudulent purposes,” reads the Act.

As Akothee married a foreigner in Kenya, Nairobi News now takes a look at what it takes for a  to file for divorce, and what is required if the other party is a foreign spouse. According to Part X- Matrimonial Disputes and Matrimonial Proceedings in the Act regarding the dissolution of a Christian marriage requires Akothee to do the following:

  1. She is to file a petition at the court for a decree for the dissolution of the marriage on any of the following grounds: adultery committed by the other party, cruelty (whether mental or physical) that was inflicted on her, desertion for at least 3 years immediately preceding the date of presentation of the petition, exceptional depravity or irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. “A party to a marriage celebrated under Part IV may not petition the court for the separation of the parties or the dissolution of the marriage unless three years have elapsed since the celebration of the marriage,” stated the Act.
  2. Akothee should then accompany her petition with a verifying affidavit, witness statement, list of witnesses, and a list of documents containing evidence.
  3. Her lawyers will then submit to the court a notice to appear so that Omosh can be informed and allow him to either consent to or dissent from the divorce. He will be given 14 days to respond.
  4. Akothee’s lawyers will then make an application to the court for a registrar’s certificate, a signal that the court has certified her petition for hearing.
  5. Two weeks after filing her petition and providing her evidence, Omosh will also be called to a hearing to provide his evidence to rebut any claims made against him. After the hearing, the court will set a judgment date.
  6. The judgement is issued after 3 weeks and the judge will decide whether there are sufficient grounds for divorce. If there are grounds, the court will issue the first divorce decree.
  7. Akothee will then be given a month to decide if she still wants to proceed with the divorce to finality or not. If she changes her mind, the court will revoke her first divorce decree but if she proceeds with the divorce after the lapse of the month, the court will issue a final decree to dissolve the marriage.

In Kenya, if divorce cases are not contentious, they take a maximum of two months. However, if the court has a heavy workload or there is divorce drama with witnesses and stubborn facts, the matter can drag on for years.

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