Blow to Willy Mutunga's Ex-Wife in Divorce Case

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    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga (right) and ex-wife Professor Michaele Lax
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  • Beverle Michaele Lax, the ex-wife of former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, has suffered a blow after The Court of Appeal declined to revive a divorce case filled against him in 2015.

    Initially, the court of appeal had dismissed Lax's appeal against the High Court. The appeal judges argued that the lawyers had failed to pursue it.

    With this ruling, Lax went back to court and stated that her lawyers did not inform her that the case was coming up.

    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga during a court seating while he served as the Chief Justice.
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    However, Court of Appeal judges (Askie Makhandia, Jamilla Mohammed and Sankale ole Kantai) indicated that the marriage had already been dissolved, hence, the appeal could not take place.

    “We cannot fathom the reason(s) for this action. Be that as it may, it does again point to the applicant as a person without candour. What the applicant is seeking from this court is really the exercise of discretion,” the court of appeal judges had ruled.

    They also indicated that Lax had been in communication with her lawyers because they had been demanding legal fees from her.

    "We therefore find it difficult to believe that she was not informed of the hearing date," the judges added.

    In addition, the judges indicated that Lax filed a separate case to dissolve the marriage at a court in California, US, which she did not inform the Kenyan court about.

    On her part, Lax stated that she only came to know that the case had been dismissed when she visited the Country in November 2019.

    Lax stated that she got to peruse the file in January 24, 2020 and could not attend court because she was unwell at the time.

    Mutunga and Lax parted ways in 2012 after the High Court ruled in his favour months after he was appointed Chief Justice.

    The court found Lax guilty of cruelty. Mutunga had accused her of verbally and physically abusing him. 

    She would, however, file an appeal on September 18, 2015, but it failed to proceed.

    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga addresses students during a public lecture on January 29, 2020, at the KEnya Methodist University.
    Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga addresses students during a public lecture on January 29, 2020, at the Kenya Methodist University.
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