A 74-year-old man in Tana River County got the shock of his life when his 17-year-old son scuttled his plans to marry a fourth wife by disappearing with the 17 cows earmarked for the dowry.
Mzee Ramadhan Mohammed of Titila village was reportedly taken ill after he learnt that his teenage son took off with the bride price.
Incidentally, the prospective wife is said to be a minor aged 17.
Relatives who spoke to the Saturday Nation said the teenager had protested the idea of his father marrying a fourth wife, especially after he barred the boy from marrying.
The teenager’s younger brother said the two had earlier quarreled over the ceremony scheduled for today, with the elder son arguing that their father was being selfish.
“My brother has been introducing the bride he wants to marry to our father, but it seems our father has his own preference of the kind of women he wants us to marry, so he keeps rejecting our choices,” the boy said.
“We did not have a peaceful night on Sunday; they almost went for each other’s throats, to the point that my father disowned him,” said the younger sibling.
The 17-year old is said to have disappeared from home, returning on Tuesday when he took away his goats for grazing but did not return with them.
The younger brother claims he came back in the wee hours of the night, locked the house his father was sleeping in from outside and drove away the livestock chosen for the bride price.
“His friend says he came at around 2am and was seen with a herd of livestock headed towards Boni forest,” he said.
When the old man woke up he found he had been locked in from outside and called for help.
On learning of what had transpired overnight, the man is said to have collapsed and had to be carried to a private hospital in Garsen for medication.
He was later brought home after he recovered but has not spoken a word to anyone, according to his third wife, Husna Barisa.
“He only drinks milk and nothing else, he has even refused to eat and only comes out at night for fresh air. He seems to be in very deep thought,” she said.
The wedding has since been cancelled and young men dispatched to look for the teenager and the livestock.
Elders have resolved to keep the matter from the police in a bid to solve it traditionally.
Though feeling sorry for the old man, the three wives said that they were not happy that the old man had refused to listen to his children.
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