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HomeTop StoriesLilian Ng'ang'a-Alfred Mutua beef: When is a 'union' considered a marriage?

Lilian Ng’ang’a-Alfred Mutua beef: When is a ‘union’ considered a marriage?

In Summary

  • The statement by Lilian says she had not been Governor Alfred Mutua’s wife.
  • In a past interview with a local TV station, she said: “Yes, he is my husband.”

Yesterday, Lilian Ng’ang’a, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua’s ex-partner released a damning statement about the aftermath of their break-up.

The statement sounded like a telenovela plot by an over-imaginative writer. Only that, as Lilian alleges, all the contents are true. Life imitating art?

The allegations span from forcible repossession of a vehicle by Mutua (KBY 186G ) to transfer of Lilian’s shareholding in the multi-million shilling A & L Hotel in Machakos. And intimidations and threats. There was also one allegation that has seen many weighing in – from Canadian based lawyer Miguna Miguna to feminists’ archenemy Aoko Otieno.

“At a meeting at the Windsor Golf and Country Club on 22nd September 2021, in the company of two mutual friends, and after the two criminal incidents, I requested him for a mature and amicable separation and reminded him that after all,  we were not married,” Lilian said in her three-page long statement.

Were they or were they not married?

Lilian Ng’ang’a Interview

In a past interview with Citizen TV’s Lilian Muli, Lilian confirmed Mutua was her husband.  The confirmation followed a question on the demystification of the “Ng’ang’a” and “Nganga” in their names. Mutua’s full name is Alfred Nganga Mutua.

“You know when I met Alfred back then, I didn’t know his middle name. He told me he is Nganga and I am like ‘no, you are lying…you know my name is Ng’ang’a.’ He was like, ‘I am Kamba and I am called Nganga.’ So, my names are Lilian Ng’ang’a Nganga,” Lilian told Muli.

“It’s all and the same thing (Ng’ang’a/Nganga). If Alfred came to Kiambu, he would be called ‘Ng’ang’a. If I go to Ukambani, where I‘ve actually now moved to, I am called ‘Nganga.’

Lilian Muli to Ng’ang’a Nganga: “So, this is your husband?”

Lilian Ng’ang’a Nganga: “Yes, he is my husband.”

It is this interview that has some Kenyans online take Lilian’s statement of marriage denial with a pinch of salt.

“Most of our parents didn’t have marriage certificates. Even what Kenyans refer to as “come we stay” are legitimate marriages if those involved in them have INTENTIONS of living as husband and wife and they last for 3 years,” Miguna postulates from Canada.

Lilian Ng'ang'a
Lilian Ng’ang’a flanked by her lawyer Philip Murgor at a conference in Nairobi. She claims Mutua has vowed to finish her, dispossess her property. PHOTO/TV47

The Marriage Act 2014 recognises five types of marriages namely Civil, Christian, Customary, Islamic and Hindu.

Since the Lilian-Mutua tussle also involves property, the 2013 Matrimonial Property Act also sheds some light on which way the unfolding legal drama is headed. It recognizes “monetary and non-monetary contributions made by both spouses to matrimonial property and assets.”

So, the case might boil down to a simple question: Were Lilian and Mutua husband and wife or not?

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