I am Too Broke to Pay 35k Monthly Child Support- Former Speaker Otiato Marende Tells Court

Celebrated for having ‘Solomonic’ wisdom that made him stand out in the Kibaki- Raila regime, former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Merende is now a man fighting child support issues.

Marende has outrightly told a court he is too broke to pay Sh35,000 as monthly stipend towards the welfare of a love child he sired with one Jennifer Nkowua.

Marende was in September 2013 directed by a court to pay to the amount after the court ruled in Nkowua’s favour. Marende was ordered pay school fees for the child.

But Marende appealed the ruling and the High Court has now partly upheld and partly dismissed the initial orders by the trial court.

This new development is after Marende convinced the court that he was not in salaried employment and had financial burden of supporting six children and aged parents, thus taking the child to a boarding school would not be financially viable for him.

He added that Jennifer could sustain both herself and the child and that she was dishonest in not disclosing her financial capacity, claiming he had set up a business for her and that she had vacated their home with, among other things, a car.

Marende’s first wife, Dr Lavender Marende passed on in April, 2005, but they had long been separated at the time of her death. He married his second wife in 2002 under the Bunyore customary laws but separated in 2008, five months after becoming Speaker.

Marende further stated that the proposal to pay the monthly sum was not reasonable as the needs of the child are shelter, food, health-care, clothing and education, thus both parties must share the expenses.

The court according to the Nairobian noted that Jennifer is a resident parent and will focus on the day-to-day nurturing of the child and providing guidance and support until Marende exercise visitation or alternative access to the child during the agreed intervals.

“Although the appellant shoulders financial obligations to cater for six other children, a wife and aged parents and is not in formal employment, he is (still) legally bound to provide for the child,” the court ruled.

In its final determination in judgment delivered on 21st January, the High court upheld some of the orders of the trial court, among them directions that the Marende caters for the child’s school fee, to be agreed upon by the parties in writing.

The court further directed that the applicant (Jennifer) should take responsibility of shelter and is at liberty to move houses in the event the current house is beyond (her) means and that the respondent (Marende) will take out a comprehensive medical cover for the minor, but in the meantime cater for any medical expenses in case the need arises.

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