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The presiding bishop of Helicopter Ministries, Mr Thomas Wahome Njuguna, who is embroiled in a matrimonial dispute with his wife says he is allowed to be a polygamist.
The clergyman says in court documents he has divorced his wife, Ms Leah Kasyoka Mueni, and has re-married. And he is only willing to pay Sh5,000 monthly as upkeep for her and the children.
He has disowned Ms Mueni and says she is no longer his wife. “Even if I had not divorced her under Kikuyu-Kamba customs, I am allowed to be polygamous but I chose to divorce her first and my only wife now is Berita Munywoki,” says Mr Wahome.
He says he went through a traditional divorce but a case he filed in April 2011 is still pending court.
He states categorically in the court documents that Ms Mueni is his ex-wife as he has already married another woman.
“As a matter of fact, I have moved on and married Berita under Kikuyu-Kamba customary rites,” Mr Njuguna says.
The bishop asserts that he is properly and legally married to Ms Munywoki. “Leah Kasyoka Mueni was my former wife and I do not see why she should bother with my marriage,” he states.
The bishop claims that he sought a divorce from the woman he married in 2005 under Kamba customary law because of her cruelty, a claim Ms Mueni denies.
The bishop wants the court to allow him to pay only Sh5,000 as monthly as upkeep for his three children and wife.
He has appealed against a September 13 decision by a magistrate directing that he should pay the money and provide a vehicle for use by the wife and children.
He says he cannot afford to pay Sh300,000 which Ms Mueni is seeking and he does not own any of the motor vehicles she mentioned.
Mr Njuguna claims he is a pastor in the church, and not the owner as claimed by the wife. Mr Njuguna argues that Ms Mueni should pay her own rent and the Sh5,000 will be sufficient for the children’s needs.
Ms Mueni, an attendant at Kenya Duty Free at the airport, says Mr Njuguna is the founder and presiding bishop of Helicopter Ministries and is in a position to provide the children with the lifestyle they are accustomed to.
She claims that she has taken loans at work to help Helicopter Ministries, which started at Nairobi’s Kayole Estate, grow.
Mr Njuguna did not turn up in court yesterday and the magistrate dismissed his appeal against paying the maintenance.
In the divorce case, Mr Njuguna says Ms Mueni subjected him to psychological torture, stalked him and invaded his privacy and right to choose those he associated with.
He says as a result of the alleged cruelty, he moved to Langata Estate, leaving Ms Mueni in their matrimonial home at Nyayo Estate in Embakasi.
Denying the cruelty accusations, Ms Mueni gives a conflicting account of the problems that afflicted the union.
She accuses the bishop of walking out on her and the children on January 30, 2011. She says she arrived home from work one evening and was told by the househelps that her husband had left.
On the day he walked out on the family, Ms Mueni says the couple had reconciled the previous day as they had been having domestic quarrels.
She had been disturbed after receiving calls from strange women and text messages informing her that she was no longer Mr Njuguna’s only wife.
Ms Mueni says she married Mr Njuguna’s in 2005. The couple celebrated their union under Kamba customary law and thereafter lived together in Nairobi. Mr Njuguna was then running his church at Patanisho area in Kayole.
Wahome, whose sermons are aired on local TV stations, denies earning a salary of Sh500,000 as has been claimed by Mueni. He has requested the court to be allowed pay Mueni Sh7,000 a month for the children’s maintenance. Wahome says he has been paying the children’s medical cover and school fees but it is the mother who is uncooperative because of her ill intention to harass him.
He accuses Mueni of retaining and refusing to hand over a Mercedes Benz which he says he used to hire out for private functions and Sh15,000 a month which which he used to supplemented his income.
The bishop accuses Mueni of lodging several complaints at different police stations and has attached copies of charge sheets. At one point, a children’s court had given Wahome custody of the children after Mueni had allegedly abandoned them. Mueni who is a custom’s shop attendant at JKIA says Wahome is a rich man who earns millions in tithes.
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