Former Sevens coach entangled in child maintenance drama
James Magayi and Nancy Gitonga
Decorated former Kenya Sevens rugby team head coach Benjamin Ayimba has found himself in the crosshairs of a Children’s Court after his estranged wife Frabrica Awuor successfully applied for orders compelling him to pay upkeep for their two children.
Awuor, Ayimba’s wife of 10 years, moved to the Children’s Court on December 23 and filed a civil case under the Children’s Act (2001) accompanied by a damning affidavit of neglect by the rugby tactician before Resident Magistrate Maureen Wanjiru Kibe who has scheduled an inter-parte hearing on February 5, 2019.
“It is hereby ordered that the defendant carter for the minors school fees and school related expenses pending hearing of this application. Parties to agree mutually on school where minors will attend,” read court papers signed by magistrate.
However, ahead of the February hearing, Awuor is seeking from Ayimba Sh150,000 being one-month rent (Sh50,000) and two-month deposit (Sh100,000) to end their homelessness having been kicked out of their Sh30,000-a-month house at Sunset Boulevard Estate in Athi River.
“My husband Ayimba Benjamin Otieno without reason stopped providing shelter for the minors subjecting them to auctioneers in December 2018 with six months arrears amounting to Sh150,000 plus auctioneers fees of Sh30,000 thus rendering them homeless,” says the mother of two.
Awuor says she is tired of hoping with her children from house to house seeking shelter from friends and relatives.
The 43-year-old Ayimba met Awuor at the height of his coaching career in 2009 through Godwin Aswani, his second wife Caroline Waswa’s cousin.
That is the year Ayimba guided Kenya Sevens to sixth place in the World Series and to Main Cup semi-finals in Adelaide, Australia.
Awuor says he promptly married her and they consummated the relationship, sharing the same house with Ayimba’s second wife Caroline.
The second and third wives of the tactician cordially lived together in Nairobi’s South C for three years and Awuor even took up the responsibility of raising Caroline’s children.
However, their South C bubble burst in 2012 when Ayimba married wife number four named Gloria Moraa and brought her to the same residence.
Awuor states that tension heightened so much owing to the arrival of the fourth wife, forcing the coach, bearer of Order of Grand Warrior (OGW), to relocate her to Donholm and later to Athi River.
It was at Sunset Buolevard and several years later in 2018 that Ayimba allegedly abandoned them, leading to the current suit.
In addition to rent, Awuor is demanding from Ayimba Sh100,000 as monthly upkeep for her two children and a further Sh160,000 for the children’s school fees starting December 1 this year to enable her source for a new school for the minors before January 1, 2020.
The mother of the two also urged the court to compel Ayimba to spend 50 per cent of the holidays and weekend with the minors as part of his parental responsibilities.
Further, she accuses the father of stopping paying school fees for the minors and as a result the minors have missed school for four respective terms since 2018 to date.
She adds “that Ayimba stopped providing health cover for the minors subjecting them to poor health.”
She says Ayimba is a man of means with five other biological children and one stepson who are well taken care of.
She said the tactician has, without embarrassment, continued to mock her and the minors by flaunting photos on social media of his other children in expensive schools and has threatened her against bringing her before the children’s court regarding the two children.
“Defendant (Ayimba Benjamin Otieno) discriminatory behaviour if goes unchecked by this court poses a significant danger to the wellbeing of the minors,” she told the court.
She said the husband’s actions are tantamount to child neglect which is a criminal offence under the penal code and against the spirit of the constitution which protects the minors.
The mother claims she has unsuccessfully tried to engage Ayimba to provide maintenance for the minors, but he refused to attend mediation meetings.
According to Awuor, Ayimba asked her to quit employment in 2016 after she delivered her second child so as to look after the minors.
Awuor avers that Ayimba, a businessman who is in the gaming and printing industry, is capable of adequately providing for their two children.
She lists a fleet of six vehicles Ayimba placed at her disposal during lean years as evidence and the hefty school fees paid for five of the tactician’s other children as evidence of his riches.