The Minister of Environment in Kenya, Soipan Tuya, has instituted legal proceedings against her estranged husband, seeking full custody of their two children and Sh425,000 for their maintenance.
In a certificate of urgency submitted to the Nairobi Children’s Court, Cabinet Secretary Tuya asserts that she and the minors have endured psychological, emotional, and verbal abuse from her estranged spouse, Mr. Stephen Saibulu Kudate. This is the basis for her pursuit of full custody of the children.
Stephen Saibulu Kudate, a former MCA for Majimoto ward in Narok, vied for the Narok South parliamentary seat in the 2022 elections on an ODM ticket. While serving as MCA, he was ousted as the Majority Leader for Narok County Assembly as fellow MCAs alleged non-performance.
CS Tuya submits that due to the abusive nature of the defendant, she, along with her children and domestic workers, has been living in a state of fear.
“Owing to his abusive and erratic nature, we have been living in mortal fear for our lives,” she said.
Tuya is also seeking court orders to prohibit her ex-husband from gaining access to her children, residence, the children’s school, or any other location.
According to court documents, CS Tuya and Saibulu Kudate cohabited from December 2, 2013, until October 2020 when they ended their troubled relationship. The husband moved out of the CS’s residence to live with his other spouse.
“The plaintiff and the defendants hence lived separately, their association having been frustrated and brought to a quick end by the continuous refusal of the defendant to take responsibility towards upkeep and maintenance of the minor children as well as various incidences of violence, abuse and infidelity by the defendant,” court papers read.
Tuya details in her statement how her estranged husband has consistently and frequently exhibited a violent and indifferent demeanor towards her since 2014.
“He committed untold physical, emotional and psychological harm on the children and me. He severely intimidated my domestic staff even sexually and physically threatening them on several occasions,” the court papers read.
The CS asserts that Kudate poses a threat to her own well-being, as well as that of her children and domestic workers.
The Environment minister is requesting the court to issue orders granting her actual care and control of the two minors. In the event that the court rejects this, she seeks restrictions and supervised visitation rights for Kudate to the two minors.
CS Tuya is also seeking a court order to compel her estranged husband to pay Sh225,000, representing 50 percent of the Sh450,000 school fees for the children.
Tuya is demanding a further Sh100,000, equivalent to 50 percent of the Sh200,000 monthly entertainment expenses for the children.
Furthermore, she is seeking another order to compel Saibulu Kudate to pay Sh100,000, which constitutes 50 percent of the Sh200,000 designated for the maintenance of the two children.
“It is as a result of the defendant’s failure to pay any shares of school fees, upkeep, abuse and infidelity that the plaintiff seeks this court’s intervention on matters custody, care and control of the children.”
The Cabinet Secretary states that she has been the sole provider for their two biological children, covering all their fundamental requirements such as school fees, housing, and clothing.
“Since our split in October 2020, he has refused to pay any share of school fees for the children despite being able to meet the same,” Tuya alleges.
“In December last year, he insulted me in a text message denying paternity of the two minors, demanding for a DNA test to ascertain his biological connection to the children,” she adds.
CS Tuya mentions that since she initiated the case in July, her husband has not filed any response, despite being served with the court papers. Instead, he has persistently neglected his responsibilities and has resorted to issuing threats.
Tuya is now urging the court to issue an order certifying the matter as ready for hearing due to the significant delay caused by the defendant’s failure to respond or enter an appearance.
She argues that she has submitted all the required documents and is prepared to proceed with the hearing promptly in the pursuit of justice.
The case is set for mention on November 13th.