Kenyan court grants divorce to wife after husband stopped working, saying it was God’s direction

A High Court in Eldoret town of Kenya’s Rift Valley Region has granted a divorce application to a woman who accused her husband of stopping work because God directed him to do so, as well as cruel treatment.

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The woman identified in the court papers as EJL filed for divorce in 2008 against her husband who is also identified as BKK.


After 13 years of litigation, the woman has now been given the green light to divorce the husband who had refused to accept the separation.

The couple got married in December 1997 at a church in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County, reports say.

The woman told the court presided over by Justice Eric Ogolla that after their marriage, she suffered cruelty at the hands of her husband for over 10 years.


One of the conducts of her husband that compelled her to seek the divorce was the forceful sale of her land which he claimed ownership over.

“The petitioner avers that after their marriage, the respondent began to be cruel over 10 years. He refused to work and claimed he had been called by God. He sold land belonging to the petitioner by force, claiming that it was bearing his name and not hers,” Justice Ogola said as quoted by

The petitioner went further to accuse her husband of abandoning her when she underwent a medical operation in 2006 and failed to pay the hospital bills.

She added that the maltreatment by her husband became unbearable, so she had to leave her matrimonial home in March 2008.


Having heard the arguments from both the petitioner and the defendant, Justice Ogoolla said the accusations the former levelled against the latter were enough grounds to grant her the divorce.

“The petitioner herein relies on the grounds of cruelty. It is sufficient to establish just one of the ingredients for divorce, as there is no requirement that all four must be established,” he said.

Since adultery, desertion and cruelty are the grounds on which a marriage can be dissolved in Kenya, Justice Ogoolla granted the divorce.

“The respondent has not controverted the allegations of cruelty. The standard of proof is on a balance of probability and I find that the same has been satisfied.”



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