A family in Kitale has asked the court to fine a man 30 heads of cattle and KSh50,000 for unlawfully marrying their daughter against Bukusu customary law.
The family is also praying to the court to stop the former principle of Nabunga High School, Andrew Barasa, from attending and participating in the burial arrangement of his wife embroiled in the conflict, Judith Nafula Konya.
Judith was alleged murdered by her own son last month in Kitale.
The late Judith Nafula Konya was a lab technician at St. Joseph Girls High School in Kitale. Her body of Judith was later found in River Kiminini, the killer allegedly her son who is currently in police custody at Kitale Prison.
The family of the deceased, led by her mother Jane Nangila and brother John Konya, through their advocate Sospeter Nyongesa, told the court that the accused, Andrew Barasa’s first wife Rose Nangekhe passed away and later the accused would take the daughter of his sister-in-law in order to help her in matters of education, but the former principal instead and married her (Judith Nafula Konya ) in a union which is not recognized by the Bukusu Customary law.
Advocate Sospeter Nyongesa told the court that such kind of marriage is luswa (abomination) as per the Bukusu culture and that the result has been seen when the son killed his own mother.
The counsel added that those with rights to bury Judith Nafula Konya are the family of the deceased so as to avoid the wrath of God.
Andrew Barasa defended himself before the court, saying that the late Judith Nafula Konya was his wife and he had all rights to bury her.
He said that he married his wife in 1993 and legalized their marriage in 2014 at St. Peter Catholic Church Kipsaina in Cheranganyi Constituency.
The deceased’s relatives did not attend the ceremony, allegedly arguing that the culture does not recognize the union between relatives.
When asked by the family’s advocate Sospeter Nyongesa if relatives of the deceased attended the wedding ceremony, Andrew Barasa accepted before the court that nobody attended.
Andrew Barasa further claimed in before court that he gave out four heads of cattle and KSh50,000 as dowry but he had no agreement between him and the family her late wife.
The Bukusu culture experts Mzee Jayrus Tulula from Bungoma will be demonstrating before court on November 10, 2022 how Bukusu culture spells out whom one is required to marry and whom not to marry.
The court directed that the hearing to continue on the said date at 2pm.
The body of the deceased is still lying at the Mt. Elgon Mortuary in Kitale awaiting resolution on the judgment.
Mike Musungu is a reporter at Radio Simba in Bungoma and a correspondent of Trans Nzoia County for the Western Kenya Times.