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Woman loses bid to stop Kiptum's burial

Rift Valley

The High Court in Eldoret has declined to issue an order stopping the burial of the athletic champion Kelvin Kiptum after a 22-year-old woman filed a case claiming to have sired a daughter with him.

Justice Robert Wananda dismissed the application filed by Edna Awuor Otieno, saying that the burial of the Late Kiptum is of public interest.

The government will honour the athletic champion during the funeral Friday, which will be attended by President William Ruto, his deputy Rigathi Gachagua, among other leaders and the athletic community from around the world.

“Burial arrangements of the deceased are at an advanced stage, and therefore, stopping the burial may be disruptive considering the resources that have been put into the preparation,” said Justice Wananda.

On the issue of the minor, the judge said there are other legal avenues that the applicant can seek to prove paternity of the minor.

“The interest of the minor shall, therefore, not be curtailed by this order. The minor’s mother is, therefore, at liberty to use any other legal avenues to ensure that the rights of the child are well taken care of,” said the judge.

Awuor claims to have sired a daughter with the late Kiptum, who is one year and seven months old.

In her application, the woman wanted the court to stop the burial until she was recognised together with her child as beneficiaries of the estate of the deceased.

She filed the case under certificate of urgency through her lawyer, Joseph Ayaro, seeking to block the body from being removed from Eldoret Hospital morgue and burial at his Naiberi home pending hearing and determination of the application.

Awuor wanted the court to order DNA samples to be taken from the body of the late marathon World Record holder to ascertain the paternity of the minor.

She claimed that her child is the biological daughter of the deceased and, therefore, she has a right to benefit from the estate of the deceased.

Awuor alleged that Kiptum's family had declined to recognise her and her daughter as part of the family and failed to include the name of the minor on the eulogy and other burial arrangements.

She claimed that Kiptum had been taking care of her and the daughter.

“The deceased had recognized me together with the minor, and he has been taking good care of us just as part of his family until his death two weeks ago,” she stated.

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