Danish man, Kenyan woman fight over Sh10 million beach house

A court has stopped a Danish man from evicting his estranged Kenyan wife from their Sh10 million house in Malindi pending the determination of a matrimonial property dispute.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A court has stopped a Danish man from evicting his estranged Kenyan wife from their Sh10 million house in Malindi pending the determination of a matrimonial property dispute, in which the woman has also questioned the legality of the man’s Kenyan citizenship.

Senior Principal Magistrate James Ongondo barred Mr Wesche Simon Enna or his agents from throwing out Ms Vivien Nasimiyu Wamalwa from their beach cottage or interfering with her occupation. He was also barred from alienating or selling the property.

In claiming ownership of the suit property, the woman says in court that the man is a foreigner and is using their marriage relationship to extend his stay in Kenya.

At the centre of the matrimonial dispute is ownership of a beach cottage, where both parties are claiming stake and financial investments. 

While the Danish man claims that he purchased the cottage using his investments in Denmark, the woman denies it and states that she bought the property in November 2021 at a price of Sh10.5 million using her own money though it was transferred to their joint names. She is a businesswoman working in the tourism industry.

The foreigner relocated from Denmark to Kenya in May 2021 after falling in love with Ms Wamalwa and marrying her.

At the time Ms Wamalwa was working in Denmark with a company called LEGO as a communication strategist. Mr Enna was also in employment.

In court papers filed by her lawyer John Swaka, the woman says that the foreigner does not have a stake in the property as she purchased the same using her own money and has also been paying for the family expenses.

She says the foreigner is seeking to be allowed to stay in the country “with no grounds neither as an investor nor working for a Kenyan company”. 

She helped Mr Enna acquire a dependent pass and Kenyan identity card based on their marriage and owing to the dissolution of the said marriage his citizenship status is untenable, says Ms Wamalwa.

"Gold-digger" tag

The woman also throws away accusations by Mr Enna that she is “a gold digger” and states that she is “financially stable with a good job”. 

“The accusation that I am a gold digger of sorts is thus outrageous and defamatory to my good name and standing. It is my belief that my union to Mr Enna was a tactic aimed at using me to access the country for his personal reasons, to abuse me physically with the hope of ending my life,” says Ms Wamalwa.

She continues: “I am a well-educated, award-winning entrepreneur from a sound and well-respected background. I am financially stable with a good job with no intention of retiring any time soon”.

According to her, Mr Enna’s citizenship status is a question and alleges that he “has gravely abused his status within the country to propagate and perpetuate illegalities”.

Ms Wamalwa met Mr Enna in June 2019 in Odense Denmark where she was previously employed.

The relationship blossomed over time and got married in June 2020 in Odennse Kommune Denmark. Each had one child from their previous relationships.

“Mr Enna organized the wedding and we got married on June 18, 2020, during the Covid pandemic. He rushed the marriage and equally its registration,” she says.

Prior to the union, they were cohabiting from sometime in 2020 living as husband and wife in Mr Enna’s home in Reventlowsvey having moved in together with all her household items.

The couple relocated to Kenya after Ms Wamalwa secured employment with Telehealth Company in Kenya. The husband retained his employment with his Danish employer working remotely. They were living together in Kilimani Nairobi in an apartment where she says she was paying rent of Sh250,000 solely.

“I equally helped Mr Enna process and secure immigration documentation. With my assistance, he secured a dependent pass and an alien identity card,” she says in her court papers.

They later purchased a beach cottage - a property known as Harbour Cottage No 30 –in Malindi at a price of Sh10.5 million, moved in together and the same was transferred to their joint names in November 2021.

“I would commute from Malindi to Nairobi catering for all my flight expenses. While in Nairobi the Respondent and I would stay at our alternative residence in Nairobi,” says Ms Wamalwa.

She adds that the marriage has been rocky and characterized by marital conflicts and that Mr Enna has been physically and verbally abusive on several occasions both in Denmark and in Kenya leaving her with severe injuries and bruises on her body. They separated in October 2022.

“The Respondent promised to change but soon after reneged on his word reverting back to his old and barbaric violent tendencies,” she says.

She states that she contributed to and paid for part of the cottage deposit, renovations, all home furnishings, and day-to-day running and shopping for the house in her role “as a wife including those in Nairobi for the shared apartment”.

“I supported the Respondent during his relocation to Kenya. I have a right to the property as a wife and as a co-owner of the cottage. Mr Enna’s dependent pass was as a result of our marriage and owing to the dissolution of our union it is rather obvious and apparent that I could not stand as such for him,” she says. The court will rule on the case on April 4, 2023.