A man’s funeral was stopped in Murang’a after children from his previous relationship barred the exercise until a property row with their step mother was resolved.
Mourners in Njunu village, Gatanga sub-county in Murang’a were bewildered after the children secured a court order stopping the burial of Mr. Samuel Nduati a day before the planned burial ceremony.
The deceased’s adult children are entangled in a succession battle with the widow over the old man’s property and had sought court orders stopping the burial of their father.
Speaking after stopping the burial Nduati’s daughter, Ms. Mary Nyambura, claimed that they filed for an injunction to push their step mother to come clean on the status of their father’s possessions since he had been hospitalized for more than a year.
“It is unfortunate that the second wife has gone ahead to make the burial plans without involving us yet we do not even know what happened to our father who has been sick for more than a year.” stated Nyambura
She noted that her late father’s wealth includes parcels of land that sprawl across Mwingi and Nyandarua areas and they fear the second wife is conspiring to inherit everything that the deceased worked hard to own.
“We want justice for our father and his wealth should also be shared equally among the two families comprising six children; three from our side and the others from the second wife.” she lamented
In a quick rejoinder, Nduati’s second wife Ms. Eunice Nduati sought to clarify that there was no dispute over administration of her husband’s wealth since he had not even been buried.
She accused the first family of malice saying the succession would progress as expected once her husband was laid to rest insisting that that the burial comes first, matters concerning his wealth will come later
“Mzee has been sick for more than one year and I have been nursing him all alone and it has been very challenging and I’m shocked that after his demise, the other family has gone to court and stopped his burial.” She posed.
While acknowledging the first family’s three children, Eunice clarified that she had no plans of taking the whole share of his wealth and that succession will be fairly done after the burial.
She divulged that the deceased slipped into a coma at a time when she was five months pregnant with her last born child and passed on before meeting their third child who is now six months old.
“We had finalized all the burial plans and his older children were well involved but I was shocked when we got a court order stopping the burial just a day before the planned date.” Expressed Eunice.
She appealed to the family to withdraw the court order and allow for burial to go on.
“I appeal to the family to let us rest him since it has been an emotional turmoil from the time he fell sick. Afterwards succession can proceed,” remarked the second wife.
One of the sons, Wilson Gakunyi called on the government to help them get justice for the deceased through equal distribution of their dad’s vast wealth among all his children.
He noted that he cleared form four and needed to go on with his education.
A banana stalk was used to seal the grave that had already been dug according to the Agikuyu traditions.
By Florence Kinyua and Purity Mugo