Woman buried after 5 years over land dispute

The families disagreed on how to settle the mortuary bill of Sh914,500. [iStockphoto]

When Susan Bosibori died on March 3, 2017, aged 84, her six children had made arrangements to bury her within a week.

According to Bosibori’s daughter Yosabia Nyaboke, it was her mother’s wish that she be buried next to her deceased husband Abros Adera who died on December 21, 1994.

Adera was survived by two wives Bosibori and Maria Wanjiri and 12 children. Wanjiri died on March 6, 2017. He left behind a 20-acre land estimated to be worth over Sh30 million, at Lare area of Njoro Sub County in Nakuru County.

It is alleged that he subdivided the land equally and each of his wives got 10 acres. Upon his death, he was buried on the parcel currently occupied by Wanjiri’s children.

When Nyaboke, her brother Joseph Onyambu and their other siblings attempted to bury their mother next to their father as per her wish, Wanjiri’s children blocked them, forcing a court battle.

Wanjiri’s son Samuel Nyamanya, claimed that the property where their father Adera was buried, belonged to his (Nyamanya's) mother and his siblings alone.

“My father was buried in a property he had gifted my mother. My step-siblings have no business burying my stepmother there since they occupy half of our father’s land,” stated Nyamanya.

Nyaboke and her siblings were forced to delay their mother’s burial and pursue the succession case they filed on February 23, 2018, seeking to be issued letters to administrate their father’s estate.

As the case was proceeding, their mother’s body remained at Nakuru County Public Mortuary.

Nyaboke told Justice Teresia Matheka that the property she and her siblings occupied was acquired by her mother and registered in her name. “The petitioners (Nyaboke and Onyambu) want the 10-acre property to be distributed equally among the two families. They also want their mother to be buried next to their father,” read Nyaboke’s statement.

She informed the court that her mother who was the first wife helped her father accumulate wealth before he married Wanjiri.

Nyaboke said that as soon as Adera married Wanjiri, her mother felt disrespected and left the matrimonial home and settled in her other property until her death.

“During my father’s burial, my mother said it was her wish to be buried next to him,” deposed Nyaboke.

In his February 6, 2019 response, Nyamanya claimed his father gave Bosibori her own parcel where she was supposed to be buried.

He said his stepmother was separated from his father at the time he married his mother Wanjiri and Bosibori laid no claim to the land.

“It was only after she died that my step siblings started to plot to grab our land under the pretext that they need to bury my step-mother there,” claimed Nyamanya.

Nyamanya stated that since he and his siblings were born in the property, distributing it equally among the two families will be prejudicial as some of them may lose their homes.

He added that there was no evidence that Bosibori decreed that she must be buried alongside her husband. Efforts to resolve the issue out of court failed.

In her judgment on March 31, this year, Matheka ruled that the property must be distributed equally among the two families. She ordered that Bosibori be buried next to her husband as it was proven that she was entitled to the land.

The judge appointed Nyaboke, Onyambu and Nyamanya as the administrators of the estate.

Even with the judgment, the families disagreed and on July 26, Justice Joel Ngugi referred the case to the Alternative Justice System module in the courts.

Following the dispute, the burial was conducted last Thursday, under the supervision of senior police officers from Njoro police station.

The case will be mentioned on October 5, after the families disagreed on how to settle the mortuary bill of Sh914,500.