Tanzanian district commissioner seeks to divorce his two wives

Saturday July 27 2019

Nchemba District Commissioner Simon Odunga

Nchemba District Commissioner Simon Odunga seated in a blue T-shirt at the Ukonga Primary Court in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO I FILE 

By Tausi Ally @TheCitizenTZ

Dar es Salaam. Nchemba District Commissioner Simon Odunga has filed two cases at the Ukonga Primary Court in Dar es Salaam seeking to divorce his two wives.

In one of the cases, the Nchemba District Commissioner is seeking annulment of his marriage to one Ruth Osoro.

The union was first registered at a government office on February 21, 2010 as per marriage certificate B no. 0979341. Hearing by the court’s magistrate, Elia Mrema was slated on August 19 this year.

In the civil case no. 180 of 2019, the plaintiff has also asked for the court’s consent to take care of their boy-child, aged four years.

The District Commissioner also faces another divorce case, no. 181 of 2019 in the same court, to be heard on July 30 this year before magistrate Christina Luguru.

In the first case against Ruth Osoro, Mr Odunga is seeking divorce on account of irreconcilable differences between the two over time. Noting that he has no objection to their child being brought up by Ms Osoro’s mother, Odunga nonetheless preferred to bring up their child as its rightful, natural father.

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He claimed that, when he married Ruth in 2010, she was fully aware that he had another woman, whom he had not formally married. In any case, he married Ruth in a civil ceremony because he was having problems with his first wife. Besides, Ruth knew of his other wife, and had no problem with that, he noted.

However, the government marriage certificate indicates that when they married neither Odunga nor Ruth had married, whereby the plaintiff presented a copy of their marriage certificate to the court.

Odunga further stated that he was the one who left their home in 2016 after Ruth had reported him at his workplace for failing to provide money for the care of their boy-child.

He told the court that he had warned Ruth against doing so, but she disobeyed him.

“I had already told her that if she reported me to my employer, that would be the end of our marriage. But she went on to report me at the office and to social works offices, where I committed myself to provide Sh200,000 every month for the child’s upkeep,” Odunga told the court.

Ruth told the court that she opposes the divorce, as she still loves her husband, and wants their child cared for by both parents.

Ruth further said that her husband was living with a concubine during her pregnancy, and that he used to abuse her on the phone.

She alleged that she went through a hard time, and gave birth by Cesarean section. Seven days later, her husband went to Bunda to vie for a parliamentary seat without giving her money for her care and that of thee new-born. Instead, he asked her to borrow money, and that he would repay the loan upon his return.

In the event, she borrowed Sh200,000 from her sister, but it has never been repaid.

She further told the court that when Odunga returned from his Bunda adventure, he went to live with “his concubine at Tabata-Kisukuru (in Dar es Salaam),” and he never provided money for their upkeep. “Hon Magistrate, despite this mistreatment, I forgave my husband,” Ruth said - adding that Odunga has utterly refused to provide her and their child with any money for their upkeep.