Kenyan gay couple file for divorce two years after wedding

Charles Ng’ang’a Wacera (left) and Daniel Chege Gichia at their gay wedding reception in North Finchely, North London two years ago. The two have decided to end the marriage and filed for a divorce. Photo/FILE

The Kenyan gay couple who two years ago made headlines around the world after their civil wedding in London are back in the limelight again, this time seeking a divorce. (Read: Two Kenyan men wed in London)

Mr Daniel Chege Gichia confirmed that the divorce was filed by his civil partner, Mr Charles Ng’ang’a Wacera, alias Charles Ngengi months ago.

He said the court was expected to issue a decree nisi soon. Decree nisi is the first step towards the court recognition that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.

In the UK, if decree nisi is not challenged for six months by either couple, a final order — decree absolute — is issued and this legally brings the marriage to an end.

“I don’t know why the court’s ruling has taken this long. I am sure it will come out any time from now,” Gichia said.

If the divorce goes through, it will be Gichia’s second marriage having first married a Briton, Mr David Cleave. That union too broke down.

He said that the divorce petition was filed by Wacera who made a long list of allegations against him.

“I rebutted each allegation after the other and I hope the court will look and see the kind of a person I am,” he said.

Gichia said that the divorce had triggered off a sensitive matter, currently being investigated by the British Home Office.

“I think the Home Office wants to investigate whether the marriage was indeed a scam, intended only to enable one of the couples gain illegal entry into the UK. As far as I am concerned, I did the right thing to bring Mr Wacera to the UK so that we can marry,” Gichia said.

Sources privy to the information says that Wacera was spirited away from Kenya by Mr Gichia on a marriage visa, issued on the ground that gay marriages would never be allowed to happen in Kenya.

In public domain

Asked about the divorce, Wacera initially played down the issue saying that it was a figment of people’s imaginations.

Nii ndi wa Chege na tugatigithukanio ni gikuu (Chege is my partner and only death will do us apart),” he said on phone before bursting into laughter.

After realising the details of the divorce were already in the public domain and that his former partner, Gichia, had already commented on the same, Wacera agreed to talk about his marriage to Gichia but declined to discuss the divorce proceedings, which he claimed was a matter before the court.

“I don’t want anything that I say used against me in court. I am comfortable to talk about my life with Gichia since we got married and nothing more.” Wacera said.

Wacera said that the marriage seemed to have been doomed from the beginning because of the negative publicity the couple got after the civil wedding.

“We seem to have taken things for granted. We put so much effort in arranging and planning for the wedding and forgot to plan on how to deal with the aftermath should the public opinion turn against us.

Nobody in their wildest dreams ever thought that our simple wedding would attract such a huge world-wide publicity,” he said. He added: “I wanted to have a simple wedding that only Chege, I and four of our best couple would attend.

“My former partner and friends, however, had another idea. They wanted a big ceremony with colour and pomp. This caused me a lot of discomfort,” Wacera said.

Stepping out

He said that he only realised that his life would never be the same again after stepping out of the ceremony at the registrar’s parlour to be met by flashing cameras from people he had never seen before.

“I wasn’t aware that some people, even journalists had turned up,” he said.

“At first I had thought of abandoning Gichia and the friends. I wanted to take cover. I, however, thought this would only cause more attention to myself and an unnecessary embarrassing drama. Furthermore, everybody else, apart from myself, seemed to be enjoying the attention,” Wacera said.

Asked whether he had plans to leave the gay life and marry to get children, Wacera said he would never marry a woman, and will never even seek to have children.