Woman pleads with co-wife not to divorce husband
The co-wife of a 73-year-old woman who has filed for divorce from their husband on Thursday pleaded with the woman not to terminate her marriage.
Trizah Mulinge told a Kangema court how her co-wife, Marcella Mukami, welcomed her warmly when she got married to Peter Kinyugo as the second wife.
She narrated how Ms Mukami accompanied her husband to pick her up from her place of work at Kiriai-ni Mission Hospital and drove in the family car to their matrimonial home.
Ms Mulinge said since 1984 when she got married, they had lived happily and even shared their three-bedroom house.
She said she used to perform all the house chores because Ms Mukami was a teacher and hardly found time to attend to domestic duties.
While testifying before Senior Resident Magistrate Dennis Kivuti, Ms Mulinge said she would like her co-wife to return home so they can continue living happily the way they used to.
She said they were so close that when Ms Mukami got ill in 2010, she took her to Kiria-ini Hospital where she was admitted.
Ms Mulinge said she would attend to Ms Mukami almost on a daily basis when she was in hospital.
“My husband visited her daily while I looked after her portion of the tea crop. Sometimes she demanded that I go to the hospital to feed her,” she told the court.
Ms Mulinge told the court that she did not understand why her co-wife never returned to their matrimonial home once she was discharged since they had all along related well.
She said they learnt Ms Mukami was picked up by her daughter who took her away from them.
She said there was no bad blood between them and she was willing to welcome her back.
“I have no problem with her; if she comes back I will welcome her and we’ll continue living happily,” she said.
Ms Mulinge denied claims by Ms Mukami that her husband did not attend to her while she was admitted in hospital and that he had neglected his duties.
Ms Mukami has filed a divorce against her husband on grounds that he does not meet his obligations and that he neglected her when she got ill.
She argues that despite acquiring wealth together, Mr Kinyugo did not cater for her medical bills and other expenses.
Mr Kinyugo has denied the allegations, maintaining that he has been paying the bills.
Ms Mulinge was put to task by Ms Mukami’s lawyer, Margaret Nyangati, to explain whether she had bothered to know whether her co-wife had conducted a church wedding with Mr Kinyugo and whether she knew it was wrong to share a spouse with a legally married wife.
She answered in the negative, saying that she did not know whether it was wrong to marry a man who already had a wife.
Earlier, Mr Kinyugo told the court that he did not wish to separate from Ms Mukami, insisting that they continue living as husband and wife.
“My wife knew that I married Ms Mulinge to assist her in her duties and she even actively participated in the dowry ceremony. I sincerely love her and would wish she returns home,” he said.
Ms Mukami was not present in court as she is admitted at Nanyuki Huruma Hospital.
Lawyers from both sides will table their final submissions on April 5.