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Supreme Court to determine on spousal maintenance limits for an ex-wives who are well-up.

The Supreme Court will today make a ruling whether men should to financially support their ex-wives who are capable of sustaining their lifestyles upon divorce.

In a decision that is likely to have an impact on how marriage alimony is paid, the court will also determine whether it is discriminatory for men to pay maintenance to an estranged woman even when they did not sire children with her.

At the center of the dispute is a British couple, Charles Michael Angus Walker Munro and his former wife, Pamela Ann Walker Munro.

Charles is appealing against an earlier order by the High Court to pay Pamela Sh. 82, 739 (£600) for 18 months. The Court of Appeal later enhanced the amount to Sh. 137,898 (£1,000) but Charles wanted to pay Sh. 250, 000 for the stated period, arguing that it would not exceed 20% of his monthly earnings.

Charles is demanding to know whether women should enjoy the men’s upkeep after divorce or separation while their own monies are saved or invested. According to him, it is not equitable and fair for Pamela to get upkeep money from him, as she has a means of earning a living.

He has told court that his estranged wife has a house in England worth Sh. 34,474,500 (£250,000 by current exchange rate), which fetches Sh. 149, 000 rent monthly and earns a monthly pension of Sh. 44,127 (£320).

He has told the Supreme Court that Pamela leads an expensive life, by comparison, as he lives a modest life. He further argues that at no time did the respondent (Pamela) ever state what she did with her income.

“Her intention is to save 100% of her income and be fully supported by the appellant. The appellant is living within his own means; he does his own laundry, takes out garbage, cleans his own house and cooks for himself. The respondent insists on keeping three employees to look after her at his expense,” reads the court papers.

Chief Justice David Maraga and Justices Jackton Ojwang', Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola heard that Pamela also owns luxury cars and boats.

He argues that if she is allowed to get alimony, her monthly earning will rise to more than £2,000 (Sh275, 796) while his will reduce to £1,000 (Sh137, 898).

The two were married on May 3, 1997 in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England. They came to Kenya in 2007, but divorced in 2009 on claims of desertion and extravagance in the marriage.

Pamela moved to court seeking to have the marriage dissolved on the grounds that Charles walked away from their matrimonial home.

However, Charles denied deserting the marriage and raised a claim of cruelty, arguing that his estranged wife had bought an expensive car worth Sh1.6 million while a simple car would have worked for them, and that she refused to accompany him on a fishing camp holiday.

He also told the court that she had read his private documents and will without his permission.
In her court documents, Walker told the judges that she was a housewife and that Munro was an extremely wealthy person.
(Source: The Standard Media Kenya)

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