Two women claiming to be widows of the late Nakuru tycoon Eliakim Olweny risk being locked out of his multi-billion property if a new application by his son contesting their marriage is allowed.
The capacity of Mr Olweny to get married to Ms Norah Atieno Wasonga and Ann Wanjiru, who are seeking to be recognised as heirs to the estate, is the subject of contention in the application filed by one of his sons late last month.
This is after it emerged that the tycoon had married his first wife Phelesia Olweny in a monogamous Christian wedding in 1966 and had no capacity to contract any other valid marriage before divorcing the first one.
In the latest application filed by Mr Allan Onyango on October 23, the ty-coon’s son wants the court to determine the legal status of Ms Atieno and Ms Wanjiru to sue as widows and decide whether they should be allowed to continue taking part in the case.
Mr Onyango wants the court to block the women from taking part in the succession proceedings in court on grounds that they have no legal capacity to sue as widows.
He told the court that the two also had no capacity to get married to Mr Olweny since they were still in other marriages at the time they claimed to have met him, and are therefore not widows.
“If parties who might not be entitled to bring objections are permitted to continue in the proceedings, it would result to unnecessary delay, costs and embarrassment to court process,” said Mr Onyango.
According to Mr Onyango, Ms Atieno, who claims to have married Mr Olweny in 1992 after divorcing her husband Eric Odhiambo, has not provided any divorce certificate proving the same and could possibly not have conducted any divorce.
Ms Wanjiru on the other hand is said to have been married to her former husband Ben Njoroge at the time she claimed to have entered into a relationship with Mr Olweny and only came to terminate the marriage several years later.
In her earlier documents filed in court, Ms Atieno claimed to have married Mr Olweny in 1992 through the Luo customary law and that dowry was paid to her parents in the presence of Mr Olweny’s brothers.
She maintained that she had terminated her previous marriage and Mr Olweny allowed her to drop her maiden name Wasonga and adopt his name to reflect her new marital status.
Ms Wanjiru, on the other hand, claimed she started living with Mr Olweny in 1983 but the marriage was not formalised since her a previous Kikuyu traditional marriage did not allow double payment of dowry for one person.
While supporting his application, Mr Onyango annexed a court document from a previous case filed by Ms Wanjiru in which his father had denied her being his mistress or having sired children with her.
Mr Olweny in the court papers claimed Ms Wanjiru was only his employee and had only offered her a house to live in as per his company’s policy to pro-vide shelter for its employees.
Mr Olweny, a former Rift Valley provincial surveyor, died in 2016, leaving behind property worth hundreds of millions of shillings.
The case, which was filed under a certificate of urgency, will be heard on November 14.
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