The Kadhi’s Court has expressed alarm at the surge in divorce cases in Marsabit and Isiolo counties.
Marsabit Kadhi Ibrahim Tullu said divorces are becoming more widespread in younger couples. In the past one year, some 120 divorce cases were filed in Marsabit, he said.
The official stated that divorce rates have risen from 10 per cent in 2019 to 40 per cent in 2021.
He attributed the increase to those getting into marriage at a very young age and are unable to shoulder the responsibilities that come with such unions.
Kadhi Tullu detailed that in a month, the court had between 15 to 20 divorce cases involving young couples in Marsabit.
And in Isiolo, at least 10 divorce cases are filed every month.
He said youths should be taken through rigorous marriage counselling before they opt to live together.
And while traditions demand that warring partners seek elders’ intervention, families have in the past few years been opting to seek the court’s guidance on their marital differences.
This has seen the divorce rate surge from 40 per cent in 2017 to over 70 per cent in 2020 according to Isiolo Principal Kadhi Abdulhalim Hussein.
The surge has been blamed on, among others, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and infidelity.
Neglecting their families
Mr Hussein notes that most of the divorce cases are filed by women who blame their husbands for neglecting their families and being violent.
The women, he says, have resorted to starting small businesses like selling miraa (khat) to fend for their families and pay school fees for their children.
“Men have neglected their roles of providing for the family, forcing women to seek meagre jobs to provide for the children,” said Mr Hussein.
Cases of girls getting married at a young age have also been blamed for the surge as most of them decide to leave marriages because they have no resilience to deal with emerging challenges.
He further said men hardly spend quality time with their families as they spend the better part of the day chewing miraa with friends and arrive home late in the evening.
“Young people should pick their marriage partners wisely, who must have good morals and be ready to take parental responsibilities,” he said.
“Marriage being a lifetime investment, they should also seek advice from experts, counsellors and particularly, elders, in the event of misunderstandings.”