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Wednesday,October 28,2020 20:02 PM

Wife blocks politician's burial

By Charles Etukuri

Added 2nd August 2019 02:44 PM

Ann Muthoni Thumbi filed a case in court on behalf of her son, whom she says she sired with Okoth. Through lawyer Elkana Mogaka Thumbi, Muthoni sued Okoth's mother Angeline Okoth and wife Monica Okoth along with Lee funeral home.

Wife blocks politician's burial

Former Kibra member of Parliament Ken Okoth. Courtesy Photo

Ann Muthoni Thumbi filed a case in court on behalf of her son, whom she says she sired with Okoth. Through lawyer Elkana Mogaka Thumbi, Muthoni sued Okoth's mother Angeline Okoth and wife Monica Okoth along with Lee funeral home.

BURIAL

NAIROBI - A Nairobi Court on Thursday issued an order stopping the cremation of former Kibra Member of Parliament Ken Okoth after his ‘second' wife filed a case in court on grounds that she had been excluded as a beneficiary of his estate.

Ann Muthoni Thumbi filed a case in court on behalf of her son, whom she says she sired with Okoth. Through lawyer Elkana Mogaka Thumbi, Muthoni sued Okoth's mother Angeline Okoth and wife Monica Okoth along with Lee funeral home.

Okoth succumbed to late-diagnosed colorectal cancer on Friday last week at Nairobi Hospital but Muthoni asked the court to halt the burial until the case is heard and determined.

"The mother and wife have deliberately and unfortunately excluded me from the funeral and burial arrangements of Okoth," the petition reads.  Muthoni said she only learnt of the burial arrangements from the media.

On Monday, Okoth's mother Angelina told Kenyan media that her son did not father a child out of marriage with Monica but that, "she was aware many women will come to claim they have a least a child with Ken."

According to Muthoni, the family has unilaterally decided to have the body cremated "among other reasons to primarily destroy any evidence of her son's lineage to Okoth".

During a memorial service held for Okoth at Starehe Boys Centre Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko told mourners he was aware of Okoth and Muthoni's relationship.

Sonko noted that the two had met when Okoth asked him to take some of his Sonko Rescue team members to his Kibra Constituency for a mobile clinic.

"The two love birds did not hide the fact that they shared a son. Unfortunately, Muthoni was stopped at the Lee Funeral Home as she took their son to pay last respect to his father. Who does that?" he wondered.

There was also a dispute on where the politician would exactly be buried after three sides claimed his body. His legally wedded wife said he should be cremated while the mother wanted him buried at her ancestral maternal side. 

Okoth's relatives from the paternal side also wanted him buried at their home in Homa Bay County at Kanyachir-Amoso village in Kochia, where his father was laid to rest.

The group, led by Raymond Mbai, said they have been kept in the dark during burial arrangements. Mbai, who is a cousin of Okoth, said the family would wish for the late MP to be buried at his ancestral home in accordance to Luo traditions.

"Luo culture dictates that a man should be buried at his or their father's home. For this case, we appeal the MP be buried here in Kochia," Mbai said.

According to Mbai, the MP's biological father Nicholas Obonyo married Okoth's mother Angeline and presented dowry.

Burial disputes are not new in Kenya. One of the most prominent cases is that of Criminal lawyer Silvano Melea Otieno, popularly known as S.M. Otieno, who was buried at his ancestral home in Siaya after a protracted legal battle between his widow and his clan that dragged on for months.

The prominent lawyer who died in December 1986 became a subject of several months of litigation after his widow and children started preparations to bury him in his farm in Upper Matasia, Kajiado County.

His Umira Kager clan disputed thus noting that they had a right to bury him in Nyalgunga to avoid a curse. The matter went to court and dragged on for five months. The clan eventually won the burial right but the widow and her children, refused to attend his burial.

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