Widow withdraws case against six in-laws

A woman who had sued her six in-laws, including a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) officer, over alleged malicious damage to her property has withdrawn the case from Eldoret Law Courts.

The complainant, Eunice Talai, who is a widow, withdrew the case against her in-laws (children of late paramount chief Kibor Arap Talai), citing the need for peace and unity within the family.

Eunice was married to the late tycoon’s son, who died two decades ago.

Appearing before Chief Magistrate Dennis Mikoyan, she said she was no longer interested in pursuing the case against the accused persons.

The woman told the court that she had discussed and agreed with the accused persons, Nancy Talai, Margaret Talai, Lydia Talai, Simon Talai, Philemon Kiptoo and Collins Talai, to withdraw the complaint and case against them.

“I have willingly agreed to withdraw the complaint, and I do not intend to raise it or any other claim against the accused persons in future,” she told the court.

The six members of the Talai family had been charged with unlawfully damaging fencing poles and barbed wire, all valued at Sh674,375, the property of Eunice.

The accused were said to have destroyed the property on March 22, 2023, on a section of 2,000 acres piece of land parcel No 7991/Kesses opposite Moi University campus in Uasin Gishu county.

In this case, Eunice had accused her in-laws of destroying her property to displace her from the land.

But in a rejoinder, the defendants led by Nancy, who is the youngest daughter of the late Paramount chief, accused Eunice of illegally leasing out a section of the family property to Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi without her consent as the administrator of the multi-billion shillings’ estate.

She argued that her sister-in-law acted in bad faith by dragging them to court over malicious damage to her property, a fact she termed as untrue.

At the High Court, the Talai are embroiled in a bitter succession case over the Sh3.5 billion estate left behind by their patriarch. The case is pitting the children of the first widow- Tapyotin (now deceased), against the second wife, Irene Talai.

Last week, three witnesses who testified before Justice Reuben Nyakundi in the decade-long succession dispute said that the late chief and his first wife, Tapyotin acquired the estate through combined effort between 1947 and 1981.

They claimed that although their father was polygamous, he left behind matrimonial property that he acquired with his first wife.

The court heard that Irene, who was married to the late Talai in 1992, should not claim the property, which was acquired long before she joined the family.

Nancy told the court that her father was a teacher before he became a paramount chief, while her mother was a cook at the same college their father taught.

“Apart from taking care of my siblings and me, our mother was a cook and a large-scale farmer. She had a salary and contributed to the acquisition of the estate that her co-wife is now laying claim to,” she said.

The late Talai, who died in 2012 aged 95, was an influential chief and a successful farmer.

He left behind over 2,000 acres of land in Kesses near Moi University's main campus and a ranch where he planted commercial trees for sale in Lelan, Marakwet West.

Other properties include developed plots and commercial buildings on a 100-acre parcel of land opposite the university, vehicles and farm implements.