A woman who says she is the daughter of the late nominated MP Mark Too has filed an application at the High Court in Eldoret to have DNA tests to determine her paternity.
Ms Chepkoech Too filed the application in the MP's succession case which has been pending in court since 2017. She says she has a right to be included in the sharing of Mr Too's vast estate.
At the beginning of the succession case, Mr Ali Mark Too, Mr Mohammed Bakari and Mr Sammy Mulili - now deceased, said they were Mr Too's children born out of wedlock and demanded to be included in the wealth sharing.
In December, Mr Too's widows Ms Mary and Ms Sophia acknowledged Mr Ali and Mr Bakari as the MP's biological sons. The widows are joint administrators of the multibillion-shilling estate.
However, they said they did not know Ms Chepkoech and that her paternity had to be established.
“Any attempts at negotiating with Ms Chepkoech to ascertain her status as a child and any proposed settlement as a possible beneficiary have failed owing to the outrageous demands that have been made by her,” the widows said.
During the hearing of the matter before Justice Eric Ogola, Ms Chepkoech’s lawyer Ms Diana Ndirangu said a DNA test would solve the paternity dispute.
Ms Ndirangu said a sibling-DNA test would be suitable, adding that the family had seemed to be against it.
“We are requesting that a DNA test be conducted on the applicant against all the known children of the deceased. We are proposing sibling-DNA as it is easier and takes less time. However, the family would rather exhume the deceased’s body than provide their samples,” she said.
Ms Ndirangu told the court she had earlier tabled Ms Chepkoech's DNA results proving she was Mr Too's child but the widows disputed it.
She went on: “We cannot proceed with the distribution of the estate if we have not determined if my client is a child or not. We can have another DNA using samples of the children of the deceased. If my client is a child, then she needs to be included in the distribution like the other children."
During the previous hearing, Prof Tom Ojienda, who represents widow Ms Sophia, said Ms Chepkoech has interests in other estates.
Justice Ogola directed the advocates to file their responses in seven days in regard to Ms Chepkoech’s application.
Justice Ogola added that the court needed a complete list of all dependents before it could move forward.
“What we need first is a complete list of the beneficiaries. If the beneficiaries do not agree on the mode of distribution, then the court will distribute property among the listed names.”
The late MP’s widows were granted letters of administration of the estate in June 2021 and were expected to present to the court the consists of the multibillion-shilling estate.
In 2018, the two widows filed a joint case for letters of administration, stating that “the deceased left behind a vast estate which is scattered and is at risk of being wasted if the court does not appoint an administrator urgently.”
The MP died on December 31, 2016, aged 60.
The late Too was buried at his second wife’s home at Sirikwa farm, Kapseret in Uasin Gishu.
Mark Too had interests in large-scale dairy, maize, and wheat farming, and real estate. At stake also are multimillion shilling homes in Muthaiga, Lavington, Milimani, Nakuru and Elgon View, Eldoret County. There is also Sh500 million in various bank accounts.
The estate also includes 19 farms in Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Nandi and Trans Nzoia counties, among them Kabilo, Sirikwa, Chemoset, Kosirai, Kitale, Kiminda, Savani, Ngeria, Kapcheserut, Ngechek, and Kurgung.
Other properties include 10 trailers, 10 tractors, 11 vehicles, and shares in six companies.
Ms Mary has four children (Ms Elizabeth Jepkoech, Mr Moses Kiprotich, Ms Jennifer Jebet and Mr Daniel Kipchirchir) while Ms Sophia has three (Ms Sandra Jerop, Mr Kevin Kipkemei and Ms Sharon Jepchumba).
The hearing will resume on April 28.