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Mule Ndeti v. Ngonyo Sila

(1997) JELR 98846 (CA)

Court of Appeal  •  Civil Appeal 128 of 1997  •  9 Oct 1997  •  Kenya

Gurbachan Singh Pall, Amrittal Bhagwanji Shah, Philip Kiptoo Tunoi



This is a second appeal, being an appeal from the decision of the High Court of Kenya at Machakos (Mwera, J.) given on an appeal from a judgment of the Resident Magistrate, Yatta.

This unfortunate, protracted; and, in our view largely unnecessary litigation arose as follows. In or about 1969, Ngonyo Sila, a woman now over 70 years old, and the respondent in this appeal contracted a Kamba customary law woman-to-woman marriage variously known as IWETO or KAWETO with Mbenya, a younger woman, and now deceased. The respondent as mandated by custom paid dowry in full to the deceased's father, Mule Ndeti, the appellant in this appeal. In 1973 Mbenya gave birth to a son, Musili Sila. Not long thereafter, precisely in 1976, the respondent and the deceased had a domestic quarrel which resulted in Mbenya leaving the matrimonial home. As fate would have it, she never returned until her death.During the period of her desertion she cohabited with one Ithau at Thika. Apparently s…

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