Twist as woman disowns mother's claim on Nyachae

The daughter of a woman claiming to be a widow of former powerful Cabinet minister Simeon Nyachae has disowned her documents, telling the court that her mother was not truthful

Ms Patricia Moraa Odero told the court that sometime in March last year, her mother Margaret Chweya, sent her a last page of an affidavit in support of her claim to part of the former minister’s Sh2 billion wealth. But she declined to sign it.

Ms Moraa was emphatic that she told her mother not to include her in the case as it was not a reflection of the truth.

The 36-year-old was testifying from United States of America in a virtual session before Justice Eric Ogola.

Ms Odero said it was the first time that she had seen her mother’s name change from Chweya to Nyachae.

“On March 2, 2022, she sent me a WhatsApp message of an affidavit that had the last page that did not have anything. I told her that I was uncomfortable signing it because it was not the truth and that it was the first time I saw that her name change from Patricia Chweya to Patricia Chweya Nyachae,” she testified.

At the same time, Ms Moraa said she was not Nyachae’s daughter.

Asked by the Nyachae family lawyer George Muchiri who her father was, she replied that he was George Gordon Odero, a man said to be among four husbands linked to Ms Chweya’s marriage.

Further, Ms Moraa said a DNA test which she conducted with Mr Odero late last year confirmed that he was her biological father.

Ms Moraa added that she was willing to do another test to ascertain that she was not a Nyachae.

She also produced a birth certificate that listed Chweya as her mother and Odero as her father.

She added that her first name was from her paternal grandmother (Odero’s mother) while the surname was given by her mother.

Investigations by Nyachae family, and filed before the court, indicated that Ms Chweya’s first two husbands, Jacob Machuki Mokaya and Michael Pondo Migowa, live in Kenya. 

The report also claimed that Ms Chweya had marriages with Mr George Gordon Odero and Mr James Leroy Totten in the US.

In her application, Ms Chweya had claimed that she was married to the late Nyachae in 1973 and had three children - Mr Chweya Roney David, Mr Jon Paul Chweya and Ms Patricia Chweya.

Nevertheless, Ms Moraa said she had never heard about Nyachae and was also unaware that the late minister was the father to her two brothers.

“Is Simeon Nyachae a father to your brothers?” asked Muchiri.

She replied: “To my mind, I had not heard that until this case came about.”

Ms Moraa testified while her mother was physically present before the Milimani Court. According to her, she opted to testify in favour of the Nyachae family in order to explain her truth.

She said she did not want to be a part of the case as it was a lie.

“I am doing this because I want to stand with my truth. I just want to stand with the truth and tell her… I did not sign any documents relating to this suit. All I am asking is that I be removed from this case as it does not have anything to do with me. Does that sound like I am bitter with my mother?” she posed.

Earlier, Ms Chweya had been put to task to explain her relationship with an American, Mr James Leroy Totten. On her maiden testimony, she told the court that Mr Totten was a university friend’s kid.

However, it emerged that there were documents showing she married him in 1989 and divorced him in 1992.

Asked why she married him if she was still Nyachae’s wife, she said it was a wrong decision and she regretted it.

“I am the one who paid for him to get this certificate (marriage). It enabled me to get my books and free grants,” she said.

Are you saying that at that time the late honourable Nyachae was not supporting you?” asked Justice Ogola.

“He was always supporting me but it was getting late. It sounded okay for me to get that (marriage certificate) and people who come to America find hardship,” she replied.

“But here you were a woman who was married, was he supporting you or not supporting you? Why did you enter into a marriage of convenience? Was the support not enough?” Justice Ogola pressed.

She continued: “No, it was enough but to get books in time, I needed the grants… You run behind when you do not turn in your homework…”

“You are in America because your loving and powerful husband has sent you there, what kind of an inconvenience can cause you to enter into a marriage of convenience?” Justice Ogola asked.

Ms Chweya said she made a wrong decision. “I made a mistake,” she replied adding that she never told Nyachae about it.

However, her daughter told the court that she got government support and that she was working to earn a living.

“She was not flush with money, she was not rich?” posed Mr Muchiri.

“I do not recall her being rich, when I was there,” replied Ms Moraa.

Meanwhile, Ms Chweya had also admitted marriage to Mr Odero but claimed it was a sad story.

Ms Chweya said she ‘interacted’ and entertained him because she knew he was a ‘dangerous’ man and may hurt her. However, the woman said she had alerted Nyachae about it.

“Ms Gordon Odero was a man stalking me and he wanted to marry me and I had to tell him I was a married woman. I told my husband about it and he told me the story was scary…”

Nyachae family’s lawyer showed her a birth certificate bearing her daughter’s name, Ms Patricia Moraa Odero.

“Who is the father of the child?” Mr Muchiri asked.

“According to the document, the father is Mr Gordon Odero,” she replied.

“Who is the mother?” he continued to ask. She replied: “The mother is Margaret.”

However, in her testimony last Tuesday, Ms Moraa said that her mother and Mr Odero were living together and there were disputes that rocked the family.

She said that at two years, she knew that her parents would have disagreements. Sometimes, she said, the disputes would be sparked by her mother.

According to Ms Moraa, Mr Odero sought custody while she was five years old and that was when she went to live with him.

Ms Moraa, a mother of two, also testified that her mother had narrated to her that she had fled Kenya for America but did not give a reason.

In the meantime, Ms Chweya was also questioned about another court document indicating that Mr Odero had been pursued by the US government to provide parental support to their daughter.

It was claimed she married Odero in Nevada, US.

In the meantime, the investigator hired by the Nyachae family, Randy Wahl, told the court that he did primary investigations on Ms Chweya’s life and only found about her life around the two American men.

Pressed on if he had searched the entire America, he said that the database indicated that her life revolved around California.

Ms Chweya had alleged that she wed the former Cabinet minister in a customary marriage.

The woman, in her maiden testimony, stated that her late uncle told her that Nyachae had sent an envelope as her dowry.

However, Nyachae’s family denies her allegations. The larger family argues that she was never married to the patriarch and her children were borne of other men who she had allegedly married.

The former Ford People leader served in President Moi and Mwai Kibaki’s governments as Energy, Finance and Agriculture minister.

Nyachae died on February 1, 2021.

The case will continue in June.