Love, hate business: The captivating web that entangled Kitany and Linturi

A collage of CS Mithika Linturi and Marianne Kitany.

The fertiliser scandal has sucked in Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi, his estranged lover Marianne Jebet Kitany and her brother Collins Kipchumba, bringing back to the fore the captivating love-hate relationship the CS has had with his ex-wife spanning years.

On April 13, Kitany urged Linturi to take full responsibility for the fake subsidised fertiliser in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) depots. Speaking in Nandi County during the thanksgiving ceremony for Chepkunyuk MCA John Tildai, Kitany stressed the seriousness of the matter.

“This issue of the distribution of fake fertiliser is serious. Those in the ministry should come out clear and stop the blame games. Someone must carry his cross alone,” she said.

In the latest twist, Kitany’s brother has been mentioned in the distribution of counterfeit fertiliser to farmers, particularly in North Rift counties.

“Everybody should carry their cross and not drag people’s names into issues you know are your issues. My brother and I are two different people.

“If he decided to go and sit down with the Ministry of Agriculture and discuss fraudulent issues, which is their problem. They should answer the charges as we are all individuals and I’m not involved at all,” she said.

Political circus

What began as a torrid affair between a high-profile political aide and a senator evolved into a saga of opulent gestures, disputed marriages, and courtroom theatrics, revealing the tangled webs that often bind these personalities in Kenya’s never-ending political circus.

According to documents deposited in court four years ago, Kitany told Chief Magistrate Peter Ngare that Linturi seduced her when her former boss, Deputy President William Ruto, sent her to convince the senator to withdraw an impeachment motion he had tabled against Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru. Kitany recalled that the Igembe South MP frequented the DP’s office after the March 4, 2013 General Election ‘with a lot of complaints’.

“The DP, as a result, gave me strict instructions to deal with Linturi’s regular complaints,” Kitany said, adding, “Between 2013 and when he filed the impeachment motion against Waiguru in May 2014, Linturi and I hadn’t gotten into a romantic relationship.”

During her re-examination by lawyer Danstan Omari, she stated that it was a consensual interaction, akin to a willing buyer-willing seller scenario. She clarified that her actions were not aimed at preventing Linturi from tabling a censure motion in Parliament.

“We became intimate. We were both willing. I cohabited with Linturi around June 2014 until March 2016, when we got married and lived as husband and wife,” she said, adding that she got married to Linturi based on love and trust.

Pathological liar

“I provided affidavits and photos. During the cross-examination, nobody challenged the photos I presented,” she said. “I am also not a pathological liar, as insinuated by the defence team. I want this court to grant me orders for divorce between myself and Linturi.”

Days later, Linturi said that the decision was reached after consultations with legislators allied to the ruling coalition, contrary to reports that he received over Sh100 million from the office of the DP to withdraw the motion against Waiguru.

“It is very important that Kenyans understand that I withdrew the motion after we had discussed it with my colleagues from the Jubilee Alliance. I have never been bribed or received any money for work not done,” he said.

Their romance ignited swiftly, fueled by a whirlwind of affection and indulgence, love, and energy. Kitany didn’t just fall in love—she plunged headlong into a relationship, showering Linturi and their blended brood with extravagant trips and lavish financial support.

Kitany held nothing back, disclosing in divorce court the extent of her devotion and recounting how her quest to build a family led her to spend millions—an extravagance she now regretted. She revealed that she poured over Sh70 million into acts of affection, from luxurious family vacations to extravagant renovations, all in the name of love.

Kitany portrayed herself as a woman utterly besotted, willing to move mountains for their blended family, which included Linturi’s three children from past relationships and her own three kids from a prior marriage.

Their saga was punctuated by lavish international getaways, the construction of multi-million-shilling dream homes, and her pivotal role in Linturi’s life and career.

The court was spellbound as Kitany detailed her whirlwind romance, recalling how she willingly footed the bill for Linturi’s rent and orchestrated grand family vacations to Zanzibar and Australia, spending eye-watering sums to cement their bonds.

“Your honour, I used a total of Sh11 million for the whole vacation that lasted over two weeks, and we went to several cities, including Perth and Sydney,” Kitany said.

Personal challenges

Amidst these grand gestures, Kitany faced personal challenges, including a corruption investigation that ensnared her and numerous civil servants. Through it all, Linturi stood by her side—or so she thought.

Their relationship reached new heights when they tied the knot in April 2016, with Kitany recounting traditional wedding rituals that symbolised their unbreakable bond. However, the validity of their union was called into question during their contentious divorce proceedings, revealing shocking allegations of forged divorce papers and hidden past marriages.

In a dramatic courtroom revelation, Kitany vividly recounted the details of their April ceremony, where Linturi paid a dowry of Sh100,000. However, the proceedings took an unexpected turn when Kitany expressed astonishment over the emergence of a marriage certificate indicating Linturi’s previous union with Mercy Kaimenyi during their divorce proceedings.

Adding to the intrigue, Kitany disclosed that Linturi gifted her mother a silver Nissan X-Trail with the registration number KCG 850N, as a gesture of gratitude. Yet, shockingly, the court learned that this lavish gift remained under the ownership of Atticon Company, registered under the senator’s name, without ever being transferred to Kitany’s mother.

The courtroom erupted with laughter as Kitany reminisced about the heartfelt moment during their wedding day when Linturi’s speech touched her deeply, showcasing their apparent marital bliss.

Kitany further testified to her meticulous care for Linturi, boasting about her culinary skills and how she transformed his appearance for the better since their marriage—a testament to her unwavering devotion.

Explaining Linturi’s parents’ absence during the dowry negotiations in Nandi, Kitany revealed an eyebrow-raising detail: Linturi purportedly claimed that his parents were obligated to attend another engagement due to traditional customs, leaving many questioning the senator’s motives.

To add to the courtroom drama, Kitany dropped a bombshell, alleging that Linturi might have forged his divorce papers to sway her affections—a startling accusation that could unravel the foundation of their marriage.

In a bold move, Kitany demanded the court summon DCI officers to investigate the alleged forgery, raising the stakes in their contentious legal battle.

As if that weren’t enough, Kitany detailed her extensive involvement in Linturi’s 2017 election campaigns, including hosting high-profile strategy sessions with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and his wife in her home—a revelation that peeled back the curtain on the intertwined worlds of politics and personal drama.

Aldai MP Marianne Kitany. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Legal dissolution

Kitany’s impassioned testimony painted a vivid picture of romance, sacrifice, and betrayal, now under the unforgiving glare of the courtroom as their once-blissful union faced legal dissolution. Amidst the theatrics of the courtroom, accusations of financial impropriety and property disputes deepened the rift between Kitany and Linturi, captivating the public’s imagination and shedding light on the complexities of personal relationships in the public eye.

As the latest saga unfolds, the public remains enthralled by the gripping tale of Kitany and Linturi—a story that transcends gossip to highlight the profound interplay between personal lives and political ambition in Kenya’s tumultuous landscape.


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