Inflated bride price ends three-year marriage


Residents of the remote Kimbu village in Embu West District are still in stitches wondering how disagreements over dowry could have terminated an otherwise well established family.

A man identified as Wilson Mucioma (name changed), 32, shocked Kiamambeu residents when he stormed out of dowry negotiations and hired a vehicle to take his expectant wife back to her parents.

Mucioma, who works as a hotel attendant in Mugoiri in Murang’a County, has been living on a come-we-stay basis with his wife for three and half years without ‘visiting’ his in-laws.

Customarily in the Embu community, a man should visit his in-laws accompanied by his parents as soon as he starts living together with his wife in an informal marriage to acknowledge the whereabouts of the bride to her parents.


“I had little money and my father told me it was shameful to visit one’s in-laws empty handed,” Mucioma told sympathisers.

However, his wife, noting the seriousness in her father’s words when he said that he wanted to see the man who took his daughter, advised her husband to look for something small to go with before matters got out of hand.

“Find a job, even if is digging pit latrines. Don’t you see my father is serious?” his wife reportedly advised.

That is how Mucioma ended up in Murang’a town where he convinced the hotel owner, who had not announced a vacancy, to offer him a job.

Mucioma is said to have saved every cent he received from his meagre salary to the extent that his colleagues branded him a miser.


When he came back home early last month, Mucioma asked his parents to take him to the in-laws in the absence of his expectant wife, who was admitted at a maternity hospital.

During the dowry negotiations at his in-laws home, however, Ndaruga heard that he would pay thrice.

“You will pay Sh1.3million since you have stayed with my daughter for years without my knowledge and permission,” his father-in-law said.

Shocked, Mucioma walked out silently. Everybody in the meeting thought that he had gone for a call of nature and would be back soon.

But Mucioma, however, went back to the hospital in Runyenjes where his wife was admitted and told the administrators to discharge her immediately or he would not settle the bill. He then hired a taxi to take his wife back to her parents.

“I would rather stay without a wife than be fleeced by greedy in-laws,” Mucioma said.

Source: The Standard




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