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Watch: You are on your own if a lady eats your fare, magistrate says

By Titus Ominde February 27th, 2023 3 min read

The small claims court has no jurisdiction to handle cases involving women or girlfriends ‘eating’ fare from their boyfriends.

This was confirmed by Eldoret Small claims court adjudicator Tabitha Wanjiku Mbugua.

Speaking during the Uasin Gishu National police annual thanksgiving at Eldoret Central Police station garden on Sunday, Ms Mbugua said since the establishment of the court in Eldoret some men have been approaching the court to file complaints in relation to women who ‘eat their fare’ and fail to turn up.

“I sympathize with men who lose money to their female friends who eat their fare instead of honoring their invite, some of these men have even approached my court for help, but it is unfortunate that my court cannot compel such women to pay back the fare. The law on the jurisdiction of small claims courts does not allow me to adjudicate on that.

Ms Mbugua who is also a senior Resident Magistrate urged both men and women involved in such cases to embrace trust.

The magistrate further revealed the small claims court cannot also help in claiming fees paid to a witch doctor in the event that the charms fail to work as promised.

He told Kenyans seeking the services of witch doctors to know that the fee paid to sorcerers cannot be claimed back in a court of law since conventional law does not recognize the existence of witchcraft.

“These cases of claiming that you paid a witch and the charms did not work can not be claimed in our court. When charms fail to work after paying for services that are the end of your services and if you want your money back just settle it with your witch doctor, not in our small claims court,” said Ms Mbogua.

Ms Mbogua said the judiciary together with all stakeholders will embark on a series of awareness campaigns in North Rift to create awareness among residents on operations of small claims courts.

We will continue educating Kenyans on the operations of small claims courts in order to understand the type of claims that we help our clients to claim.

She said the court also allows the debtor to commit himself or herself to how the debt will be paid.

She cautioned Kenyans against relying on social media information about the operations of courts instead they seek proper information through Court Users Committee (CUC) and judiciary information desk situated in all courts countrywide.

In July 2022 fake news about a woman who was fined Sh23,000 for ‘eating fare’ went viral.

The Judiciary was forced to come out clear on the matter and denounce the fake news.

The fake report showed the woman was fined Sh23,000 for failing to show up at lover’s birthday.

The report had indicated that the woman was to attend a birthday party but she missed it and switched off her phone.

Through social media it was alleged that the woman had been fined heavily for failing to visit her boyfriend even after being sent a bus fare.

The Judiciary moved in swiftly and clarified that the report was fake and asked Kenyans to disregard it.

Kenyans on social media gave mixed reactions to the report.

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was among Kenyans who fell prey to the fake news.

“I did not know that you can sue a woman for eating your fare and have your cash refunded with interest, if this happened during my youthful days, I would have sued 5000 women,” Sonko said in reaction to the fake report.

‘Eating fare’ is a slang for an instance where a man or woman sends a partner money to visit him or her only to end up failing to appear.

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