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Three widows given right of share in their late husband's wealth

WESTERN
By Robert Amalemba | April 10th 2021

Three widows have been granted the right to share in their late husband’s property even as a petitioner wanted to lock them out.

One of the widows had earlier separated with the husband, the second one was in the process of divorcing him while the third had remarried immediately after the husband died.

Said Bwana Mkuu, the owner of the estate, died in 2014 leaving behind three widows; Zarah Said Mzee, Magrit Said and Zakia She Shebwana, all of whom had children.

The petitioner, Ibrahim Said Bwanamkuu, also an administrator of Bwana Mkuu’s estate, sought to disinherit the widows on grounds that their interest in the estate was “extinguished by operation”.

Bwanamkuu had succeeded to stop the succession process where the three were listed as beneficiaries, but Justice Reuben Nyakundi ruled the process should go on and the three enlisted for a share.

“The concept of succession, whether under statute or common law or customary law, is about generational transfer of family wealth from parents to children. That is why the property passes absolutely to the children, but not to the surviving spouse(s),” he ruled.

The judge noted the fact the widows were divorced or had remarried would come into play in the ratio in which the wealth would eventually be shared out.

Bwanamkuu had also argued in the application filed last October that it would be unjust to allow two of the widows to be enlisted as co-administrators of the disputed estate.

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In their defence, the three widows said they talked with Bwanamkuu out of court on March 20, 2017 and July 8, 2019 and agreed the application be shelved to give way for the rightful sharing of the estate, but he was adamant. 

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