The judge warned widows to avoid him at all costs [Photo: Courtesy]

A court has warned widows in Eldoret to avoid a man who has swindled some of them of their property. In the landmark case, one VKM had been sued by a widow EAK over ownership of a parcel of land.

Consequently, High Court judge Boaz Olao warned VKM on what the Bible says about men who take advantage of widows. “The message that this court wishes to send to the widows in Eldoret is this: “Don’t touch VKM with a ten-foot pole. Avoid him at all costs,” Justice Olao said in his ruling delivered on Wednesday.

The judge noted that what widows need most is a helper who can shower them with love and offer support. Not deceitful men whose aim is to swindle them of their property. Quoting from the scriptures, the judge said: “They take advantage of widows and rob them of their homes, and then make a show of saying long prayers. Their punishment will be all the worse.”

The judge went on to quote the book of Exodus: “You shall not afflict any widow or orphan. If you do afflict them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.”

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The judge regretted that the case proceeded without VKM in the court and he never got the opportunity to read the scriptures to him. He also did not file any documents in reply. The judge described VKM who relocated to Eldoret from Webuye as a man who targets widows and steals from them. The story behind the case is intriguing.

The woman told the court that following the demise of her husband in 1997, she cohabited with VKM in a short, abusive and tumultuous relationship from which a child was born. She had four other children with her husband.

During her cohabitation with VKM, she borrowed money from banks and together with her savings, bought property on which she built her residence and houses for rent. Unknown to her, the man fraudulently and in abuse of the trust that she had in him registered the property in his name.

This forced EAK move to court seeking orders that the man be compelled to discharge his trust to her by executing an instrument to transfer the title in her favour.

In his statement dated October 24, 2017 and which he adopted during the trial, Dickson Tom Wanjala, a witness confirmed that he sold the suit property to the woman. He added that it was EAK who paid the entire purchase price of Sh110,000.

Wanjala’s evidence was also corroborated by Agneta Makungu Mwangi. They were later surprised to learn that VKM had registered the suit property in his name.

“I have also looked at the documents filed by the plaintiff in support of her case. They include bank statements, copies of her payslips and letters from her bank demonstrating that she indeed borrowed money which she was repaying. I am therefore satisfied that not only did she purchase the suit property but that she also developed it through her own funds,” reads the judgement.

The judge noted that the two were not married, and the man did not make any contributions, financial or otherwise, towards the development of the parcel of land. “As is now clear, he not only took advantage of her and abused the trust which she had in him but he proceeded to defraud her of the suit property. Believing the plaintiff’s uncontroverted evidence as I do, I have no hesitation in making the finding that she has proved her case against the defendant as required in law,” the judge stated.

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The judge said VKM’s registration as the proprietor of the parcel of land was only as a trustee in favour of the widow and her children. He ordered the man to transfer the title deed in favour of the widow and her children within 30 days from the date of the judgement. Deputy Registrar will facilitate that transfer and ensure the title deed held by the defendant is cancelled.