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Magistrate in murder case wants to sell property for upkeep

EASTERN
By Erastus Mulwa | Jul 11th 2019 | 2 min read

Former Nyeri Senior Resident Magistrate, Pauline Omungala, charged with murdering her husband, wants to sell property to meet her upkeep and that of her children.

Omungala’s lawyer, Assa Nyakundi, yesterday told Judge George Odunga that his client faced challenges of meeting her daily needs together with her children’s following her interdiction without salary.

In an application, Nyakundi wants title deeds of Omugala’s property surrendered to enable her dispose them off, claiming she had “run out of means of livelihood”.

“It is my humble submission at this point that my client needs those documents (title deeds) urgently so that she can organise her life and sell some of the property. Actually, she was interdicted without salary,” Nyakundi told Justice Odunga.

The magistrate, who was released on bond last month, also sought the court’s intervention to allow her access her matrimonial home in Moke Gardens, Athi River, saying she did not have a place to live with her children.

Shot dead

Omungala’s husband Robert Chesang, was shot dead on February 17, 2019 by unknown assailants at the home.

The twin applications came up yesterday in Machakos during a pre-trial conference of the murder trial in which Ms Omungala and four others have been linked to the killing of Chesang, a lawyer.

But the family of the deceased, through lawyer Wanjiku Wandugi, opposed Omungala’s return to the house until a report is made by the investigators of the case that the house is no longer of interest to them.

“I am instructed that unless there is a report by the investigator to show that the house is no longer of interest, my client is apprehensive of allowing the first accused to get back to the house,” said Wanjiku.

Chesang’s family, however, did not raise objections to Ms Omungala being handed over title deeds of the properties that she did not own jointly with her late husband.

In his ruling Justice Odunga allowed Ms Omungala’s documents to be handed back to her, but declined to issue a directive over the issue of properties jointly owned by Omungala and her slain husband, saying that was a matter of determination as a succession cause.

“I cannot state who is entitled to them at this particular stage,” he said of the property. The case continues today.

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