Catholic Priest Appeals Ksh25,000 Child Upkeep Order

A Picture of a hand holding Kenyan notes.
  • Father Dominic Wamugunda has moved to the High Court to appeal after he was ordered to pay Ksh 25,000 for child upkeep.

    In his appeal, the priest states that Senior Resident Magistrate Mary Otindo failed to consider DNA testing when she issued orders on a case that had been filed by the child’s mother on December 9, 2020.

    “The learned magistrate erred in law and in fact by failing to appreciate that the plaintiff had not placed any material evidence before the court to warrant an award of Sh25,000 maintenance,†the cleric appeals.

    Father Wamugunda is seeking a suspension of the court orders, claiming that the mother of the child failed to show up for a DNA test, which had been agreed upon by both parties.

    A hand holding money Source: Facebook.

    “I am aware the parties agreed to undertake testing and order recorded by consent on May 17, 2021, and I already paid for the same. On the appointed date for the DNA testing August 5, 2021, as agreed between the advocates Mr Kirimi and Mr Shisanya, the respondent did not show up,†he states.

    The cleric had earlier contested the paternity of the 12-year-old girl. He further states in his court papers that he has never seen the child in question before.

    “I am not satisfied at all with the court finding, and that is why I have filed an appeal. I have completely denied paternity of the subject child whom I have not seen or supported since she was born and she is now 12 years old,†he argues.

    Through his appeal, the man of the cloth is seeking to have the matter settled urgently, stating that the mother of the child wants him arrested over failure to pay for the upkeep.

    “The appellant is at risk of being arrested and incarcerated in the execution of ex parte orders,†reads the appeal.

    “There is an urgent need to protect the appellant pending the hearing of the main appeal. Unless the application dated August 20, 2021, is admitted for hearing during the current High Court vacation, the appellant will suffer irreparably,†the cleric adds in his appeal.

    However, in her ruling, the magistrate noted that the cleric did not undertake a DNA test that was scheduled by the court, stating that the cleric alleged that he was unwell.

    “It has to be remembered that this court, on May 17, 2021, allowed a DNA test to be undertaken. He did not do so on an allegation he was unwell. There was no evidence placed before court to support the said position that he was incapacitated to undertake the said DNA and that the court ordered that he continue to discharge his parental responsibility,†the magistrate ruled.

    The appeal has been filed before High Court judge Maureen Odero.

    Gavel on the bench in the courtroom
    Gavel on the bench in the courtroom
    child arrest