Woman seeks court's help in row over cows subjected to DNA test

Two cows at the center of a dispute at Baraka Patrol Base in Nakuru on August 28, 2020. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

A woman has defended her possession of two Friesian cows that were subjected to a DNA test in August 2020 to prove ownership.

Gloria Kandie moved to court after she was ordered to surrender the cows - both black and white, at Baraka Police Patrol base in Ngata on September 22, 2020.

The order from Menengai Police Station followed a DNA test result dated August 28, 2020 which concluded the cows were not Kandie’s but belonged to Ann Cherotich.

According to the result from Peter Ngugi, the Sub County Veterinary Officer Rongai, Cherotich’s description of the cows matched that on the DNA test results.

“Cherotich proved beyond reasonable doubt that she was the owner of the cows,” read the report.

However, Kandie sued Cherotich before Senior Resident Magistrate Benjamin Limo, claiming the cows belonged to her.

She claimed she bought the cows from two different people, at a combined price of Sh215,000 and named them Ruma and Lelgina.

“I bought Ruma from Paul Majanga for Sh100,000 on October 5, 2018 and Lelgina from David Mugaka on August 1, 2019 for Sh115,000,” read Kandie’s statement.

She said since she bought the cows, she has been in possession of them to date.

Rongai sub-county veterinary officer Peter Ngugi checks on the dentition of one of the cows at the center of a dispute at Baraka Patrol Base in Nakuru on August 28, 2020. [Kennedy Gachuhi, Standard]

However, she claims that on August 10, 2020, Cherotich invaded her grazing fields and began claiming the cows were hers.

Kandie challenges the DNA result, saying it was biased because her description of the cows was not included in the veterinary officer’s report.

“The cows’ physical appearances were examined in my absence, leading to the erroneous conclusion that they were not mine,” she claims.

She wants an order restraining Cherotich from interfering with her possession of the cows. Cherotich claims the cows were stolen from her in August 2015.

She says she reported the theft at Ngata Police Station under OB Number 4/27/8/2015. 

The cows with striking resemblance were subjected to DNA test after the police failed to determine ownership through physical examination.

Women’s description of the cows were recorded, including how the animals were de-horned, their skin patterns and dentition.

According to the officer’s report, filed as evidence, the process involved checking the dentition, tail switch and general body marks to determine their age.

As a result of the case, the court has issued a temporary order for Kandie to possess the cow (status quo) until the case is concluded.

The case will be heard on July 21, 2022.