MARRIAGE DISPUTE

Family allowed to bury former KAA employee who died last year

A man had claimed that she was his wife and obtained orders stopping her burial in Ugenya.

In Summary

• Achieng's family had scheduled her burial for November 6 at her home in Ugenya, Siaya, but were stopped following the orders.

• The man’s first act upon her death was changing locks of the city house and denying Achieng's daughter access. 

Milimani law courts
Milimani law courts
Image: FILE

The family of a former employee of Kenya Airports Authority who died in November 2020 at Kenyatta National Hospital has been allowed to go on with burial.

Rose Achieng died on November 7. One Moses Asum claimed he was her widower. He, therefore, obtained injunctive orders stopping her burial.

Achieng's family had scheduled her burial for November 6 at her home in Ugenya, Siaya, but were stopped following the orders.

A court has now allowed the family to proceed with burial plans. Senior resident magistrate Margaret Murage said Achieng’s daughter, Benta Akoth, has a right to bury her mother in Ugenya.

“An injunction be and is hereby issued restraining the plaintiff by himself, or his agents, from interfering with the burial of the deceased by the defendant,” the magistrate ruled.

Achieng' died aged 58 years. She met Abednego Omondi in 1975 and they began a mutual and consequential love relationship that culminated in a marriage under Luo customary laws. They were blessed with one childAkoth. Omondi died in 1978.

But Asum claimed that in 1988, he met Achieng’s family and paid dowry of Sh7,000 at first and later added Sh45,000. He failed to prove his claims in court.

“The deceased has a house at her Ugenya home being provisions for her late husband which she visited frequently, as late as early this year 2020, and planned seasonal crops,” court documents read.

From around 2005, when Achieng was retrenched by Kenya Airports Authority, she was living in Tassia Embakasi on a property bought, developed and registered singly in her name.

She fell sick and was admitted to KNH where she died on November 7. All responsibilities, including nursing and processing and payment of hospital bills were “single-handedly” done by Akoth.

Asum’s first act upon her death was changing locks of the city house and denying Akoth access. He was living in the house with one of his three wives.

“He is a man who seeks to harvest where he did not sow. Cognisant that he does not have any right in the law, Asum filed the case in the hope that he may turn that friendship into a Luo customary marriage, claim and bury the deceased and eventually take the deceased house as his own," the court papers say.