Not Fair:Court saves Former Assistant Minister John Keen from sought DNA tests

Kenya: Former Assistant Minister John Keen will not undergo DNA tests to determine the paternity of a woman claiming to be his daughter, the High Court ruled Friday.

Justice David Majanja dismissed an application in which a 32-year-old woman, Ruby Karimi, is seeking to have the politician subjected to medical tests to confirm whether he is her biological father.

In his ruling, Justice Majanja argued that granting the orders would be an intrusion on Keen’s privacy, since the main case in which Ms Karimi is claiming recognition as his daughter has not been heard and determined.

He said such orders could only be granted once the petitioner had submitted evidence to support her claims.

Bodily security

“Ordering the respondent to provide DNA for whatever reason is an intrusion of his right to bodily security and integrity.

The necessity or otherwise of granting this order will become evident once the petitioner has established the breach of constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms during the main petition” the judge said.

He also noted that the circumstances under which Karimi had written her statement were unclear and were not made on oath.

“There is very little probative value that can be attached to it,” he ruled.

He however appreciated the fact that there was no dispute between the parties that the petitioner is not a child and she could therefore not enjoy and special rights applicable to children in such cases

In March this year, Karimi moved to court alleging that she was Keen’s biological daughter, having been born in 1981 out of a union between her mother and Keen.

The former assistant minister has however denied knowledge of both Karimi and her mother. He has also denied allegations of a union between him and the petitioner’s mother.

“I am not the applicant’s biological father as alleged or at all and never at one time have I recognised her as my child,” Keen says in his replying affidavit.

Mental anguish

He also claims that Karimi’s mother is using the case to extort money from him.

In her application for a DNA test, Karimi relied on a statement attached to the affidavit and which was signed by her mother.

The statement sets out a history between her mother and Keen, which led to her birth in 1981.

She claims in the statement that she was introduced to Keen by her mother in 1995. Her mother however informed her that Keen was not comfortable with any relationship touching on a child born out of wedlock.

Her attempts to establish a relationship with her father since the completion of her secondary school education in 2001 have been futile.

Karimi claims that as a result of her rejection by Keen, she has suffered mental anguish, dejection and ridicule.

She also states in her affidavit that the she has been denied the use of Keen’s name, leading to the loss of   the benefits that accrue due to pedigree and lineage.

She has asked the court to order the Registrar of Births and Deaths to amend her birth certificate to include Keen as her father should the paternity test be positive.

Opposing the application, Keen’s lawyer argued that the petitioner had not identified to the court any specific rights that had been violated and the manner in which the rights had been violated.

Karimi is represented in her petition by Lawyer Kabue

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