Sunday, January 26, 2014

Catholic priest Josephat Mweu Mwanzia wants paternity case concluded

A Catholic priest sued by a woman in Mombasa for allegedly siring a child with her 14 years ago has written to the Chief Justice protesting over delayed justice.

Father Josephat Mweu Mwanzia of Consolata Missionary, who had sought to have a suit filed by Syovinya Cecilia Mbiki, dismissed after DNA tests conducted in South Africa and Kenya exonerated him has accused the magistrate of dragging the matter. 

In the letter to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga dated January 22, he accused the Tononoka children’s court magistrate Beatrice Koech of failing to conclude the case despite many anomalies and breaching of court orders and summons on the part of the applicant. 

Mwanzia explained this was the second year since the suit was filed under certificate of urgency for the best interest of the child but the matter was yet to be concluded. 

LACKS BASIS 

“Since this suit was filed in September 2012, as a Catholic priest, I have been unable to perform my priestly duties and the delay in the delivery of the ruling continues to give me mental and psychological torture and affecting my career and reputation,” the letter read in part. 

He explained that the magistrate had given court orders to conduct DNA tests but the plaintiff had failed to honour the summons four times yet the magistrate had not taken any judicial notice despite the seriousness of the matter. 

“The magistrate’s action can be termed as misuse of office because if court orders are not respected and no penalty is given then, anyone and everyone would do the same,” he said. 

Lawyer Kiunga Kingirwa for Mwanzia had last year asked the Resident Magistrate to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the application lacked basis and was bad in law but the magistrate is yet to make her verdict. 

According to documents in court, tests done at Karen Hospital in Nairobi and Pathcare Paternity Laboratory in South Africa had indicated that the priest was not the father of the child in question.

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