Woman, daughter-in-law in court battle over Sh15m house


By JOSEPH OPENDA
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The mother of former Gateway Insurance boss, Mr Godfrey Wairegi, is locked up in bitter court battle with her daughter-in-law over the ownership of a property in Nakuru County.

Ms Esther Wangui, who is 100 years old, has accused her late son’s wife, Ms Jelioth Wanjira, of trying to take a way a home that she was bought by her children as a gift.

The property in question is a four bedroomed house worth more than Sh15 million that sits on a half-acre parcel of land in Njoro.

While the elderly woman claims the house was gifted to her by her children, the daughter-in-law has maintained that she co-purchased the property together with her late husband and it was registered in her name.

The suit was filed by Ms Wangui’s son, John Gakure, to whom she has delegated the powers of attorney to sue on her behalf.

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In the petition before the Land court in Nakuru, Mr Gakure, through lawyer Njuguna Matiri, claims the property was bought from contributions by the siblings for the sole purpose of resettling their mother.

Mr Gakure told the court that it was Mr Wairegi who came up with the idea to purchase the land and house for their mother and requested the family members to make contributions.

The court heard that one brother, Simon Peter Mwangi, identified the property which was then owned by Prof Francis Kibuba while another brother, Dr Tom Wairegi, gave Sh600,000 for the purchase.

“It is clear from the correspondence that the intention of the purchase was to gift my mother a house and land,” noted Mr Gakure.

He filed the case in 2016 after he learnt that the widow had procured registration as the sole owner of the property.

In her defence, Ms Wanjira has denied the claims, saying that she became the sole owner of the property after her husband’s death in 2011 and that her brothers-in-law are using their mother’s power of attorney as a ploy to disinherit her the property.

According to her, the mother-in-law has no legal or equitable interest in the property and may not be aware of the dispute in court.

“I have not committed any civil or criminal wrong in having the land registered in my name because I did the same legally in accordance with the existing laws in Kenya,” said Ms Wanjira.

In his prayers, Mr Gakure wants the court to cancel the titled deed registered in Ms Wanjira’s name and declare that his mother is the rightful owner of the property.

He also wants the court to issue orders permanently restraining Ms Wanjira from interfering, disposing or evicting her mother-in-law from the property.

Hearing of the case which will be on February 7, 2020.


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