Property dispute splits family two decades after inheritance
THE STANDARD INSIDER
By Phares Mutembei | September 6th 2020
More than two decades since a family land dispute in Meru -pitting a father, his son and other family members- was resolved, another property dispute has erupted within the same family.
The row has split the family and the younger members are in fear of being disinherited.
At the centre of the first dispute were Josiah M’Turuchiu (now deceased), his wife Charity Karea and his son Peter Kinga (67), who still lives on a seven-acre piece of land at Mbaaria, Buuri.
Turuchiu invited elders from the Oromo in North Imenti and Kinyenjere clans to his home on May 8, 1999 to help resolve the land dispute with his son, Kinga.
Another point of discussion was Charity Karea, Turuchiu’s estranged wife who used to live in a rented house in Isiolo County. The clans listened to all present, including Gerrard Gitonga, assistant chief of Kiirua-Nkando location.
Turuchiu wanted the clans to support his plans to evict Kinga from where he (Kinga) had built his house, and relocate him to a marshy area the elders thought was unsuitable for any building.
The elders also heard that Turuchiu had also evicted Lucy Mukami, his widowed daughter-in-law.
The clans resolved that Kinga should stay on the seven acres where he had built his house because he had developed it.
The clan decreed that land parcel No 48 (10 acres) should be shared between Charity Karea (Turuchiu’s wife) and Lucy Mukami.
The elders said Turuchiu should continue cultivating the rest of the land, measuring nine acres. The clan asked Charity to go back home under the clan’s care.
Turuchiu and his wife have since died, leaving behind a divided family who are now feuding over the land and some fear they could be disinherited.
The area under dispute is a different parcel measuring over 10 acres, and contested by M’Turuchiu’s children and grandchildren. Kinga and a section of the family is pitted against his sister Esther Mwendwa, who is also backed by other family members.
Locals were treated to drama after a section of the family invaded the land, leading to a violent confrontation.
Among them is Agnes Mukuba, who, according to a Will written by her grandmother Charity, should alongside her sisters get a share of a two-acre parcel.
“The land does not have a title deed. “We are appealing to the government to help us and ensure the sub-division is done legally,” Mukuba said.
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