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Kibaki family seeks talks to settle dispute with 'son and daughter'

 Former President Mwai Kibaki and Jacob Ocholla Mwai. [File, Standard]

There might be white smoke between former President Mwai Kibaki’s family and two persons claiming to be his children.

Family Court judge Fred Ogola heard that the family intends to hold talks with a woman, codenamed JNL, and Jacob Ocholla Mwai to strike a deal to end the court battle over wealth.

But Ocholla’s lawyer Morara Omoke asked the court to set a hearing date for his bid to exhume Kibaki’s body for a DNA test.

In his case, the 63-year-old man asserts that he is the firstborn son of Kibaki.

In an attempt to prove his argument, Ocholla attached a report prepared by Dr Zakayo Limili, a human pathologist, who stated that Ocholla’s and Kibaki’s phenotypic features suggested that the two are related.

According to Limili, Kibaki’s and Ocholla’s noses, foreheads, eyelids and lips resemble.

Further, in his report dated January 19, Dr Limili claimed the cheekbones and cheeks of the two men as well as their eye contact and blinking are similar.

“The similarity assessment by analysing phenotypic features suggests Jacob Ocholla and Mwai Kibaki are related,” said Limili.

Limili’s document was filed as part of a reply to the Kibaki children’s argument for the dismissal of Ocholla’s application.

Kibaki had stated that Wanjiku, Jimmy, Kagai and Githinji are his only children and heirs, but JNL and Ocholla are seeking a share of his wealth as “firstborn son and daughter”.

On August 11, last year, a gazette notice was published notifying Kenyans that the court would proceed to grant Kibaki’s three children, whom he had appointed as executors of his will, powers to administer the estate.

They were also to make distribution of inheritance to beneficiaries as per Kibaki’s wishes.

But JNL filed an application arguing she feared the succession process would proceed without her being recognized as Kibaki’s daughter.

“The applicant being a daughter and beneficiary in the estate is very apprehensive that she stands to have all her inheritance rights under the constitution infringed upon unless she is supplied with all the relevant pleadings and supporting documents,” JNL’s court papers read.

JNL claims her mother and Kibaki met while they were students in the UK in the late 1950s. She was born in 1961.

“I have been informed by my mother, whose information I verily believe to be true, that when I was born…my father was aware and came to visit me as a child in hospital,” she claimed.

According to her, Kibaki’s children know her and have interacted with her since 1968.

She stated that she schooled in the same institution as Judy Kibaki, Jimmy Kibaki, and David Kibaki.

The woman accused the executors of the will of failing to seek her consent and failing to supply her with documents filed in court. 

She claimed to have tried to involve a Catholic Church bishop in an out-of-court settlement. 

In his case before the Nyeri High Court, Ocholla claimed the former president not only acknowledged that he was his biological father but asked him to always respect him as a father.

The case will be mentioned on December 18.

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