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Widow dismisses allegations of other ‘wives’ in her marriage

Widow dismisses allegations of other ‘wives’ in her marriage


Wednesday, 17 April 2024

KNA by Kiptanui Cherono

The widow of a former senior Kenya Forest Service officer has dismissed claims that her late husband had two other wives Georgina Mbithe Kitum, a widow to the late Elijah Murkomen Kitum, told an Eldoret court that she was not aware of any other woman claiming to have been married to the deceased.

This is after two women filed a petition in court demanding a share of the deceased’s multi-million shillings estate.

The widow, a retired Kenya Revenue Authority employee, told high court Judge, Justice Reuben Nyakundi that the two women who have filed a joint petition demanding shares of the deceased’s properties together with their five children were not her co-wives as they claim.

The mother of four children told the court that she was the legal wife of the deceased, and she and her children were the only beneficiaries of his estates.

The deceased had properties spread over three counties, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, and Trans Nzoia.

The properties being disputed in court include more than 10 prime plots in Eldoret, Kitale, and Nakuru towns, pension funds, saccos savings, shares in blue chip companies, among them Kenya Airways, and KenGen, and cash in various banking institutions.

“The claims by the two women, Novene Lagat, an employee with the Postal Corporation of Kenya, and Lily Kanji, and businesswoman in Eldoret town that they were married to the deceased are misplaced and false,” said Goerginah.

She told the court the two women were total strangers to her, claiming that at no time in their more than 25 years in marriage did her late husband ever introduce or mention to her about having other wives.

Kitum, formerly a Kenya Forest Service Zonal manager for Teso Conservancy in Western Kenya died in a fatal road accident that occurred along the Webuye-Eldoret highway on the night of February 8, 2013.

The widow further dismissed in her court documents claims by the petitioners that they were being maintained by the deceased before his death, hence their application to be recognized as beneficiaries of his estate lacked merit.

She told the court that the petition was meant to derail the cause of justice since nobody in her late husband’s family knew the petitioners and that she only came to know about them after the death of her husband.

“I was a senior civil servant and with income and all the properties being claimed were solely acquired by our combined efforts, although they are registered under the deceased’s name, and the two complainants have no claim to any of the properties,” she stressed

However, in their rejoinder, the women petitioners claim they were married to the deceased and that he used to cater for their children’s school fees, food, house rent, and other necessities.

They said that they attended all burial meetings for the deceased that were held at an Eldoret hotel, and even attended the burial ceremony in Kamendi farm in Trans Nzoia County with their children.

They denied that they were strangers to the first wive, and the deceased’s family members, claiming they were introduced to the deceased parents and other relatives by the late Kitum personally.

Ms. Lagat claimed in court that she got married to Kitum in 1998 while working in Timboroa where the deceased was also stationed as a zonal manager with KFS, adding that they were blessed with three children who were all known to the family of the deceased.

On her part, Ms Kanji claimed they formalized their marriage with the late Kitum in 1999 after dating for one year, adding they had the blessings and consent of their parents, and had three children with the deceased.

“My husband used to pay rent, school fees, food, and clothes for my children for the entire period that we lived together, he even opened a salon business for me in Eldoret town,” Ms. Kanji stated.

The case will come up for further hearing on May 20.

Courtesy; KNA

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