By Harold Ayodo
Cases of parents-in-law wrestling property from surviving spouses of their children are on the rise.
In most cases, widows are on the receiving end as their in-laws accuse them of ‘reaping’ where they did not sow.
Many widows in urban areas are however, not giving up on the investments they claim to have contributed towards its acquisition.
They are instructing lawyers to file suits in court to salvage their matrimonial property after the death of their husbands.
Some of the in-laws argue that the widows had no investments when they got married and could not enjoy the sweat of their departed children.
The scramble over property occasionally turns ugly with parents disowning their daughters in-law despite having children with their late sons.
Today, the bitter accusations are increasingly ending up in court with lawyers citing constitutional provisions on matrimonial property.
There is also the newly passed Land Act of 2012, which spells out the rights of married women on property acquired during marriage. Consequently, informed widows who know their rights are rolling up their sleeves for legal battles over their hard earned investments.
Take the case of Maryanne Ndunge who sent an email complaining about the ‘greed’ of her mother-in-law.
“Barely three days after my hubby died in a road accident, his mother and aunts demanded that I hand over title deeds of property we bought together,” Ndunge writes.