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Widows differ over husband's property value

Widows of a real estate businessman in Nakuru have differed in court over their husband's Sh5 million estate.

The second wife alleged that the property was undervalued.

Monica Muthoni Kimani, the second widow of Habel Thumi Karobia, while testifying during a succession case told Justice Samwel Mohochi that her husband had property in Section 58 Nakuru, Nairobi, Mountain View, and Kajiado worth more than Sh5 million.

Initially, the court had issued a grant of the estate to Philip Habel, Irene Njoki, Terry Wairimu, and Ann Wachuka, who are the deceased's children from the first wife Loise Wangeshi.

An affidavit in support of the petition for a letter of administration intestate filed by Philip dated 2012, indicated that the deceased had one Widow Wangeshi with six children namely Rafael, Njoki Wairimu, Washuka, Hellen Karobia, and Philp.

According to the witness, the deceased died in 2012 aged 84 leaving behind property including five houses in Nairobi worth Sh17 million each.

“When my husband came home in 2011, he had photos of property he told me to keep, stating that he had bought five houses in Nairobi at Sh17 million through loans and proceeds from a land sale in Eldoret,” she said.

She alleged that the relationship between the family was good until her husband died.

Her co-wife and her children allegedly made it hard for her to see her husband when he was sick and after he died.

The day Karobia died, she said, her children were not recognised in the obituary published in a local newspaper.

“When I visited Kokeb where burial plans were taking place I was chased away by Wachuka. I went to court and obtained orders stopping the burial on February 17, 2015 only to discover that he was cremated on February 16,” Kimani testified.

She insisted that she cohabited with the man since 1978 and formalised their union in 1992.

“The deceased had paid my dowry; he gave 80 goats. He has plots at Section 58 Trading Shopping Centre where his office is on the first floor,” she said.

For 11 years, she claimed, she has been punished by the deceased 's first family and pleaded with the court to include her and her two children as beneficiaries.

“In the interest of justice I pray the court to consider my prayers as I have been in court since 2012 following up on the issues,” she said.

The hearing continues Thursday.

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