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September 20, 2018

Court allows Murang’a man to bury wife in disputed land

John Ndege, 82, has been allowed to bury his wife by a Murang’a court after an unsuccessful attempt to block the ceremony by two of his children /ALICE WAITHERA
John Ndege, 82, has been allowed to bury his wife by a Murang’a court after an unsuccessful attempt to block the ceremony by two of his children /ALICE WAITHERA

An elderly man in Murang’a county has been allowed by a court to bury his wife.

John Ndege, 82, had been barred from burying his wife Leah Wambui after two of his children obtained a court order.

The siblings, Lucy Wanjiku and Edwin Gitau, said the two acres in Kandundu village in which Ndege planned to bury Wambui belonged to their mother Abishagi Muthoni, their father’s first wife.

The two wanted Ndege to find another piece of land to bury Wambui, not the one registered in their late mother’s name.

But Ndege on Wednesday told the court he bought the land when he worked as a prison warder 50 years ago. Ndege said he was stationed at Lodwar and would send money to Muthoni to buy parcels of land which she registered in her name.

Family graveyard

Chief magistrate Margaret Wachira dismissed the case and allowed Ndege to bury his wife in the farm.

She said Ndege was the custodian of the property and deserved to bury his wife wherever he pleased. Wachira ordered the two siblings to meet the cost of the petition.

Ndege celebrated the decision, saying his joy would be to bury his two wives together. He said his mother and a number of relatives are also buried in the farm.

“That is the family graveyard and when I die, I also want to be buried in the same farm,” Ndege said.

Wanjiku and Gitau got the court order on August 10, a day before the burial. Villagers, who were unaware of the order, turned up on August 11 to give Wambui her final farewell only to find the grave covered and the seats had been removed.

Ndege said he was served with the order late in the evening and had been unable to stop the villagers.

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