What you need to know:
- I considered tearing the letter into pieces, but I eventually decided to respond.
- In constitutional jurisprudence, I have acted as the de facto father while only your client knows the de jure father of the subject
When I dispatched Brandon to her mother, the last thing I expected was a threatening letter from a lawyer. As soon as Nyayo left to drop the boy to Catherine, I sent her a WhatsApp message informing her that her son was on his way home.
“The boy has become unreasonable, please put some sense into his head,” I replied when she asked me why I was sending Brandon over.
“I am not comfortable with this,” she responded. “Next time let’s discuss before we make such a decision. I am not idle.”
She called me the next day. “I can’t believe this is my son,” she said, amid tears. “Yaani the uniform I bought Brandon in 2016 is the one he is still wearing – small and tattered. Wewe ni deputy na huwezi nunua uniform?”
I told her Brandon was careless with his uniforms and reminded her that I used only two pairs of second-hand outfits for my entire schooling life.
Send her money
“And what do you people feed the boy? He’s the only person I have seen with kwashiorkor in 2020!” I ignored her. The next day she asked me to send her money. I did not understand why a lady who was working, a deputy HM, with better prospects of becoming a HM since her boss is retiring next year, would ask for money from me yet she was the boy’s mother.
Despite clear evidence that Brandon is not my son, I have taken care of the boy without any complaint. On Sunday, Catherine sent me a message saying she had decided to stay with Brandon, but that I should be sending her Sh12,500 monthly for his upkeep. I told her to get lost. I know Brandon eats a lot, but Sh12,500 was an exaggeration. When she started calling me incessantly, I blocked her number.
On Tuesday, I was going about my duties in school when a boda boda rider arrived and asked to see me. He had a letter from a lawyer addressed to me. I will read to you some parts:
“I am writing on behalf of my client, Catherine Awinja, an adult female Kenyan who is well known to you and with whom you had coitus with on or about March 14, 2011, leading to the birth of a son named Brandon Sossion… As her attorney, I have clear instructions from Catherine, hereby referred to as my client, to demand from you in line with Article 53 of the Constitution – which protects a child’s right to parental care and protection – as the legal, biological and known father of one Branton Sossion, a monthly child support token of Sh39,267 to cover for the following:
Rent - Sh7,017. Food – Sh6,262. Clothing – Sh3,300. School fees – Sh9,200…
The money should be deposited into my client’s bank account or M-Pesa on or before the 2nd of every month ; failing which legal measures will be instituted against you…”
I wondered which law school this lawyer went to. I would never have got my facts so wrong even if I am not a lawyer. Did he know that I was not Brandon’s father? I only ‘accepted’ him as part of my CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) contribution to humanity.
Did anyone tell him that I was a teacher, and I was not earning even a quarter of what he was asking me to pay every month? Did he know that Catherine was also employed, earning more than I do, and with less demands. Did he know that I was taking care of two other children, Electina and Honda, whose parents I did not know, and yet I had never sent anyone a demand letter?
I considered tearing the letter into pieces, but I eventually decided to respond. I was not going to look for a lawyer. I could certainly do a better letter than this so-called lawyer, and if we ended up in court, I would beat him hands down. See excerpts of my response, which you will agree is more professional than his:
“I, Mwalimu Andrew, a male Kenyan of sound mind, hereby referred to as Dre is in receipt of a demand letter dated and received on or about November 17, 2020. Abinitio, be informed that while your client is known to me, her son, Brandon, was birthed over a year later after our last known conjugation with the applicant, meaning that you need no calculator to acquaint yourself with the fact that I am not his biological father.
However, as a responsible member of the society and a law-biding citizen, I have been; without any malice, coercion or force, been taking care of the subject’s financial, social, societal, physiological, psychological, environmental, educational and emotional needs. In constitutional jurisprudence, I have acted as the de facto father while only your client knows the de jure father of the subject.
Therefore, I file this affidavit to inform you that you have no prima facie case. I, therefore, have no intention, no plans, no locus standi to pay the sums you have demanded. I also have no intention to meet you to canvass this matter any further. Kindly consider this as my only submission to the matter. In conclusion, I dismiss your letter with costs…”
The letter was delivered to the lawyer on Friday. I have instructed myself to act for myself in this matter. But should it go up to the Supreme Court, only then will I hire a lawyer – and that will only be Nelson Havi, the president of all lawyers. Bring it on, Catherine!