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Friday, September 10, 2021 – High Court Judge, Prof Joel Ngugi, has once again hit the headlines with his controversial ruling on paternity and marriage.

In a ruling he delivered in Nakuru High Court on Friday, Justice Ngugi said having a child with a partner is not proof that you are married.

Ngugi made the ruling in a case where a woman was seeking to be recognised as the wife of a deceased Nakuru businessman, identified in court documents as BM.

The woman, identified in court documents as CW, claimed that she had a five-year relationship with the deceased and had five children with him.

But Ngugi ruled that as much as customary laws are today dynamic, it is important to follow some formalities to qualify a Kikuyu customary marriage.

Ngugi added that dowry should also be paid either in full or in part to show that the man is serious about the union.

“Despite living together or bearing children, a man and woman must satisfy what constitutes a customary marriage before they are considered a married couple,” Judge Ngugi ruled.

This is a big win for Kenyan men since many women have been causing chaos during burials, claiming they had children with the deceased.


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  1. Justice Prof Joel Ngugi is modest, open, honest, fearless and just. A true face of freedom and liberty and Africa renaissance. A defender of naked truth and humility. Prof bear the vision of a generation most wouldn’t see

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