Lucy Kabuu: Star athlete, broken marriage and fight over matrimonial property

Lucy Kabuu: Star athlete, broken marriage and fight over matrimonial property

What you need to know:
Kenyan marathon star Lucy Wangui Kabuu stood before the court, her voice firm yet tinged with emotion, as she recounted the turbulent journey she had traversed with her former husband, Jeremiah Maina Wamungu.

Theirs was not just a legal battle over property; it was a saga of love, betrayal and shattered dreams that unfolded in the corridors of justice.

In a three-hour testimony before Justice Samuel Mohochi in a court in Nakuru, Ms Kabuu recounted the harrowing ordeals she claimed she endured at the hands of her estranged husband-who is now determined to get 50 per cent share of her property.

The 2006 Commonwealth Games 10,000 metres gold medallist took the court through a step by step explanation demonstrating how she acquired properties worth hundreds of millions of shillings across the country, in a bid to counter the claims of Mr Maina-who insisted that the properties were jointly acquired.

She denied having received any money from Mr Maina, maintaining that all the funds used to acquire the properties in question came from her earnings in athletics.

She made an emotional account of how the former husband allegedly made her life bitter, during and after the separation and eventual divorce.

Ms Kabuu began by asking the court to guarantee her security, as she felt that her life was in danger.

She further urged court to facilitate the transfer of the property registered in the name of Mr Maina to her, noting they are a product of her sweat.

“I pray that I be given back the product of my sweat and be provided with everything that was acquired using my hard earned money. I am also appealing to the court to guarantee my security and also assist in transferring the property to me,” said Ms Kabuu.

The marathoner noted that their marriage was based on lies, adding that Mr Maina had duped her into a relationship with his eyes fixed on the properties.

She took court through instances where Mr Maina, then her husband, allegedly went to great lengths to extort money from her.

According to the athlete, Mr Maina used to stage his own kidnapping in order to demand ransom from her.

“He once called via his own phone and told me he had been kidnapped and that criminals were demanding Sh500,000 in exchange for his head. I reported to the police officers, but as he was being traced, he claimed the kidnappers freed him without the ransom,” said Ms Kabuu.

The marathoner further explained that their home used to be attacked by robbers and anytime they would come, Mr Maina would climb the ceiling arguing that the robbers might kill him if they saw him.

“While at the ceiling he would signal the robbers to leave the house when he learnt that I had contacted the police,” she explained.

When the gimmicks failed to work, Ms Kabuu explained that the husband would turn violent and began assaulting her while threatening to end her career.

She produced before court a complaint she made to the Inspector General of Police in 2014 complaining of the threats he had received.

Ms Kabuu explained that he met Mr Maina in 2009, as they were both police officers and athletes. They began a relationship where they later started cohabiting which resulted in the birth of a child.

The marathoner claims the ex-husband is a dishonest person since he never revealed that he was married with children, something she came to discover later.

She claimed that she owned a number of properties before meeting him and the only thing he did, was help in the renovations and completion of some projects.

The court heard that at some point, the husband hid the marathoner’s Identity Card, so that her earnings could be channelled through his accounts.

She produced an OB number to show the report she had made of a missing ID in 2012.

Some of the money that was wired into his account include the earnings from her win in London, Dubai and Chicago marathons in 2005.

She also produced bank statements to show the money she had sent to Mr Maina to purchase the property.

According to her, Mr Maina secretly bought properties using her money and registered them in his name and sold some of the properties registered in their joint names without her consent.

“This case began in 2014 and has dragged on for a long time and has tortured me financially and psychologically. A lot of things have happened and I have not been able to compete effectively. I want the income he has drawn from my investment refunded as well as the properties he bought using my money,” said Ms Kabuu.

However, Mr Maina who testified earlier had maintained that the properties were acquired jointly and he made a substantial contribution into their acquisition.

According to him, he owned properties and businesses before he met Ms Kabuu, and therefore the properties cannot be said to have been bought using funds from Ms Kabuu only.

“I was a police officer earning Sh36,000. I had 11 acres of land in Nyahururu where I grew potatoes and kept dairy cattle and would earn approximately Sh 200,000 per month,” said Mr Maina.

He claimed to have resigned from the Police Service in 2014 to concentrate on the family business, which was thriving and also be able to coach Ms Kabuu.

According to him, he used to earn Sh100,000 monthly as a coach, which he used to acquire some of the property.

He claimed to have withdrawn all his 11-year-savings with the Police Sacco and invested it into family wealth.

He also sold some of his own property including his land and vehicles to contribute in the acquisition of the joint properties.

Mr Maina maintained that they started from scratch with the marathoner, where they lived in a 1 rented room in Nyahururu before they progressed in life.

According to him, it was Ms Kabuu who walked out of the matrimonial home with their child in 2014. forcing him to institute the matrimonial suit.

He filed the case in 2014, seeking orders by the court to grant him 50 per cent of the total wealth that they amassed while they were married between 2009 and 2014.

In the suit he instituted against the athlete, Mr Maina argued that he financially contributed to the acquisition and development of the parcels of lands in Nakuru, Nairobi Nyandarua and Laikipia counties.

The properties in dispute include prime plots in Nakuru, Nyandarua, Laikipia and Nairobi where commercial and residential properties stand, motor vehicles and parcels of lands in other parts of the country running into millions of shillings.

In response, Ms Kabuu, through her lawyer Ms Elizabeth Mukira said the two were not married but had cohabited for five years and were blessed with a daughter.

She dismissed the claims by Mr Maina saying that she used the money she got from her athletic competitions to acquire the properties and she only allowed Mr Maina to oversee their development.

She noted that she gave the ex-husband access to her bank accounts and also allowed her prize money to be sent directly to his accounts as she trusted him.

The court however directed Mr Maina to pursue a divorce first before the matrimonial suit could be heard.

The divorce was allowed by the court in Nyahururu in 2020, which paved the way for the hearing of the suit.

Justice Mohochi on Thursday directed that Ms Kabuu includes her claims in the submissions stage. The hearing continues on July 9.

By Daily Nation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *