The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

You never married late Kajwang', court tells woman in estate battle

 Former Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’. [File, Standard]

The Family Court in Nairobi has locked out a woman who alleged to be former Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’s widow from his multi-million-shilling wealth.

Justice Stephen Riechi found that Faith Vivian Otieno had alleged that she got married to the deceased through customary law and had cohabited with him for a long time.

However, the judge said that she knew all along that Kajwang was married to Dr Rose Bujehela Otieno in a church wedding and was not eligible for polygamy.

At the same time, the judge was of the view that Kajwang had in his lifetime told a children’s court that he was not married to her.

“Marriage is a status which does not change like weather.  You are either married or not married.  You cannot be somehow married…. I find that the evidence point to the position Faith stated in her pleadings in the Children’s Court that she was not a wife of the deceased.”

The ‘Bado mapambano’ politician died on November 18, 2014. 

At the heart of the court battle was whether Kajwang was monogamous or had two wives.

Bujehela stated that she was the only widow of the deceased. She married the deceased at the Central SDA Church in Nairobi in 1985 after dating for three years.

Bujehela testified that she did not know of any marriage to Faith and saw her wailing when the former senator died. Nevertheless, she stated that she acknowledged the two children as Kajwang’s.

On the other hand, Faith claimed to be the second widow. She narrated that she met Kajwang sometime in 1993 when she had gone to seek legal advice over an accident that she had been involved in.

She testified that love struck immediately and they started cohabiting. Faith said she bore two children with Kajwang in 1994 and in 1996.

Faith also told the court that the deceased paid dowry to her parents, thus she was married to him under Luo Customary Law.

She claimed that Kajwang had separated from Bujehela. The woman, however, admitted that he had in 2003 filed child maintenance and custody case against the politician. However, before the magistrate’s court, she had indicated in the court papers that they were not married.

According to her, it was the lawyer who was handling her children's case who amended the court papers to indicate such.

In the meantime, it also emerged that Kajwang had also indicated that he had not married Faith in his response to the maintenance case.

She also said that she knew that Kajwang was married and had seen his marriage certificate. However, she urged the court to recognize her as a wife.

Her lawyer Judy Thongori argued that she had cohabited with Kajwang for eight years. According to her, the cohabitation ought to be presumed as a marriage.

Faith called Kajwang’s brother, Wilfred Onyango as her star witness. Onyango claimed that in 2001, he attended her marriage ceremony and they paid Sh100,000 and six cows to her father.

He acknowledged that Bujehela was Kajwang’s wife and admitted that he had sent her some nasty WhatsApp message over his death.

She also lined up Kajwang’s cousin Albert Kiteko, who also told the court that he attended the dowry ceremony. He, however, stated that he also attended Kajwang and Bujehela’s wedding in Nairobi.

In her submissions, Bujehela stated that it was clear that Kajwang denied marrying Faith in his lifetime. She asserted that he could not marry a second wife as he was bound by the Christian marriage.

In the meantime, his brother Okoto Ojwang opened a new phase of the battle after he joined the dispute seeking a share of the boisterous politician’s vast estate.

Okoto claimed that his late brother owed him some Sh15 million debt. For this, he asked the court to allocate him a property in United Estate in Nairobi’s South C.

At the same time, he asked to remove a property in Lavington, Nairobi county and another 0.53-hectare piece of land in Migori county as they were not a part of the estate. According to him, both were under his name.

In addition, Okoto claimed that his late father, David Ajwang who died four years after had clearly opposed inclusion of another piece of land in Lambwe West as part of the estate.

Ojwang’s brother told the court that he paid legal fees owed by the deceased to a law firm, payment of a bank loan, and payment of a property in Nairobi’s Lang’ata.

Soon after his death, Rose and her two children - David Brian Ajwang’ and Dorcas Akumu - filed a petition seeking letters of administration to assist them manage the estate.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week