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Widow, son land row referred to arbitration

By Daniel Chege | April 6th 2021

The High Court in Nakuru has referred to mediation a 172-acre property row between the widow of former Rongai Member of Parliament Kibowen Komen and her son.

Nakuru High Court Judge Teresia Matheka advised Rachael Komen and her last born son Patrick Komen to hold talks and solve the matter out of court.

The two have been in dispute over control of the suit property located in Njoro, Nakuru County. Matheka noted that the High Court had unnecessarily been dragged into a personal and emotional vendetta between a mother and son.

“The matter can be solved outside the court’s jurisdiction. Parties are advised to seek out of court settlement,” said the judge.

The two will be required to file a report before Deputy Registrar of the High Court once they have come to an agreement on how to proceed.

“The parties will later file their consent before the court to be adopted as a ruling for the application within the court,” said Matheka.

Matheka advised the two to agree imminently or in default see the case proceed and determined by the court.

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The advice by the court came at a time the widow is challenging her son’s attempt to terminate continued trust between them for the suit property.

Rachael has termed an application by Patrick seeking to oust her as the trustee of the property on behalf of her children as incompetently filed to abuse the court process.

Patrick had filed the application in court on December 7, 2020 seeking to terminate the continued trust between him and his mother in respect to a grant issued to his mother.

The grant dated July 31, 2017, issued after Kibowen died in 1997, saw Rachael not only administer the deceased’s property, but also hold trust for her five children.

However, Patrick wants to restrain his mother from leasing, selling or disposing of the properties including the suit land - land he was to inherit - without her children’s consent.

He is also seeking an order compelling his mother to distribute the trust properties to all her five children; him, Bernard Bowen, Agatha Cherotich, Catherine Cherono and Beatrice Chepkurui.

He said he has been discriminated against even though his four siblings are enjoying the benefits of their father’s wealth.

The benefits he avers to include a trust in Kabarnet consisting of rental houses, restaurants and petrol station with monthly income of Sh500,000 and water company at Keringet with monthly income of Sh1 million. “The applicant, who is the last born, is discriminated against, as the money directly goes to the respondent and her other children,” read the application.

He accused her of breaching her fiduciary duty by mismanaging the properties to his detriment and completely excluding him from management of the estate.

Rachael, however, accuses Patrick of lying to court and concealing facts relevant to the succession case and wants Matheka to strike out the application and condemn her son to pay the cost of the application.

She claims she has discharged her duties as her children’s trustee for the deceased’s properties without favour.

“The applicant (Patrick) has abandoned his wife and children, forcing the respondent to take up his responsibilities including paying for his children’s fees,” reads the reply.

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