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Younger wife wins big in a 25-year old succession battle

By Jack Murima | October 17th 2019

A second wife has been awarded the lion's share of her deceased husband’s land in a case pitting her against her co-wife.

Making the ruling yesterday, High Court Judge William Musyoka ordered that the property be shared in a ratio of 3:4 in favour of Susana Muchisu, the second wife.

Justice Musyoka opined that Susana had more children than Damara Muchisu, the first of Ainea Muchisu Busula's widows.

The two women have been battling in court over the land since September 21, 1994.

Muchisu died on September 10, 1987. It was Damara who went to court seeking certificates of administration for her deceased husband’s 5.5 acres.

Damara argued that being the first wife, she possessed express permission to distribute the property. She was successfully issued with the certificate of administration on February 20, 1995.

Aggrieved, Susana filed a suit seeking to have the certificates granted to Damara revoked, demanding to be included in the administration of her husband's estate. She asked the court to grant her three acres, and give 2.5 acres to Damara, so they could distribute the same to their sons.

Susana had seven children, four of them daughters, while Damara had six, three of them sons. One of Damara's daughters had, however, died.

Damara was opposed to the proposed sharing formula, saying she was the first wife, thus the sharing formula suggested by her co-wife was unacceptable.

While proposing the 3:4 sharing formula, Justice Musyoka said each of the children, despite their gender, must have a share of the land.

He also named the two co-wives as the joint administrators of the disputed estate.

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