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Kenya: Judge Disinherits Children Fathered By Widow Lovers

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Children born by a widow more than nine months after her husband’s death are not entitled to inherit a share of the deceased’s property, the High Court has ruled.

Justice Lucy Gitari has held that a child born posthumously to a widow not less than nine months upon the death of the husband ought to be excluded in succession.

Such a child, the judge said, cannot be regarded as having survived the deceased according to Section 29 of the Law of Succession Act, Cap 160.

The judge also stated that such children cannot be regarded as dependants of the deceased’s estate because the deceased had not taken them as his own and was not maintaining them before he passed away.

SUCCESSION DISPUTE

She made the decision while ruling on a succession dispute between a woman, Ms Milka Wanjiku and her step-mother, Ms Rose Wangechi.

The two were fighting over distribution of the estate of Wandimu Munyi, deceased, who passed on some time in 1985. He was father to Ms Wanjiku and husband to Ms Wangechi.

In the case, Ms Wangechi wanted three other children that she bore after the husband’s demise be listed as beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate which included a 22-acre land in Mwea.

Also in contention was an undisclosed amount of money given by the National Irrigation Board (NIB) for a three-acre land acquired for construction of Thiba dam.

Ms Wanjiku testified that the deceased had two wives- her deceased mother Agnes Muthoni (first wife) and Ms Wangechi (second wife).

The court heard the deceased polygamous man had three children with the first wife and only one child with Ms Wangechi.

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After his death, the second wife sired four other children (three daughters and one son) between 1988 and 2008, who she wanted to have them inherit estate of the deceased man.

RIGHTFUL BENEFICIARIES

But the step-daughter confronted the court with the question of whether children born posthumously are entitled to inherit and who are the rightful beneficiaries of her father’s estate.

Her case was that except the first born in her step-mother’s house, the other four children were born after the deceased had passed away and are therefore not children of the deceased.

On her part, Ms Wangechi said she wanted all the eight children to share the land equally since they were born and lived on the land.

But in her ruling, Justice Gitari ordered that the deceased’s estate be shared in five portions among the four children he had sired in his lifetime plus Ms Wangechi.

“The (other) four children are excluded as beneficiaries. The distribution should be in accordance with the number of children. The widow is an additional unit,” said the judge adding that her decision on distribution of the estate is according to Section 40 of the Law of Succession Act.

Justice Gitari also ordered that the land be surveyed to ensure that each beneficiary’s portion has access to the water carnal. She also said the money for compensation from NIB shall be shared equally by the beneficiaries.

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In Jerusalem, Christians mark a sombre Easter

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AFP

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Eggs on the table and a toy rabbit on the dresser — with a few decorations, Palestinian Christian Sawsan Bitar attempts to salvage some normality from an Easter overshadowed by coronavirus.

In the Christian quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City that Bitar calls home, roads are deserted and most shops have been closed for two weeks.

All cultural sites in the Holy Land are shuttered, regardless of their religious affiliation, as authorities seek to forestall the spread of the deadly respiratory disease.

Christians will be prevented from congregating for the Easter service, whether this coming Sunday — as in the case of Bitar and fellow Catholic worshippers — or a week later on April 19, in line with the Orthodox Easter.

Despite wars and uprisings, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and resurrected, has not been closed over Easter for at least a century, according to Palestinian historian Johnny Mansour.

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Bitar, who is in her sixties, says it is “depressing” that she will not be able to celebrate Easter in church.

Israel — which in 1967 occupied east Jerusalem and later annexed it — has confirmed over 9,700 coronavirus infections, with 79 dead from the respiratory disease.

On the Palestinian side, more than 250 cases have been confirmed, with one death.

Jerusalem is usually the vibrant heart of global Easter celebrations.

Last year, more than 25,000 people gathered near the Holy Sepulchre to attend Palm Sunday mass, which marks the start of the Easter week.

This year, the cobbled streets of the Christian quarter were silent and its dozens of churches were empty for Palm Sunday on April 5.

A lookalike of Jesus, with long hair, a white tunic and bare feet, praying with his bible on the steps of the church of the Sepulchre, cut a lonely figure.

Behind the heavy wooden doors of this holiest of Christian places, there were only 15 members of the clergy in attendance, said Ibrahim Shomali, spokesman for the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem.

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“But despite the difficult circumstances, there can be positives,” Shomali told AFP.

Streaming the mass direct online, 60,000 people watched, he said.

This Sunday, Easter mass will be broadcast on television and on social networks.

Only six monks will be present in the church, Shomali said.

Watching the mass online will be the only way Francis Gharfah will celebrate Easter this year.

A Palestinian from east Jerusalem, he left his usual decorations in their boxes and chose not to prepare traditional pastries.

“The situation is dramatic,” he told AFP, saying he fears for his job at an NGO due to the virus.

He was “very touched” by the images of Pope Francis celebrating Palm Sunday in an empty Saint Peter’s Basilica, accompanied only by a few religious men and women — each of them perched on separate benches.

“People are thirsty for spirituality,” said Shomali, who finds great solace in a “return of faith” in this dark time.

Bitar attempts to remain upbeat.

“Everything happens for a reason. I hope that we will be different people, that we will appreciate things differently” once the coronavirus crisis ends.

To mark this Easter, Bitar laid out a cloth printed with small yellow chicks and multi-coloured eggs at the entrance to her home.

Her family has created an improvised photo studio, her daughter and grandchildren squeezing into pictures surrounded by a rabbit and flowers.

But all the photos in the world will not be the same as attending church for Easter.

“We live five minutes from the Holy Sepulchre and we cannot go there,” she said sadly.

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US man arrested after beating mom over toilet paper

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AFP

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A California man was arrested this week after allegedly punching his mother — who had apparently hidden the family’s stash of toilet paper because of his excessive use of the hot commodity.

Police were called to the family’s home in Saugus, north of Los Angeles, at 3am Monday following a dispute over the whereabouts of the hygiene product, Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, told a local news service.

The argument between Adrian Yan and his mother escalated and he allegedly ended up punching her, Miller said. He was detained on suspicion of battery, she added.

The mother told deputies that she hid the toilet paper from her 26-year-old son because he used too much of it at a time when the product is in short supply because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Miller said the lockdown imposed across much of the country because of the virus has led to an increase in incidents of family violence.

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“It was to be expected, it’s happening everywhere,” she said.

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Kenya allows evacuation of Covid-19 patient from Juba : The Standard

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A new innovation that makes it possible to ventilate two patients with one mechanical ventilator at Aga Khan University Hospital. [Courtesy]
Kenya has allowed the evacuation to Nairobi of a United Nations staff who tested positive for Covid-19 in Juba, South Sudan.

The 53-year-old woman, who had been on self-quarantine since her arrival from Nairobi on March 23, tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, according to South Sudan authorities.
“On Monday, we received an alert from UN Level (I) Clinic and our team was immediately mobilised. The health official said the woman was showing flu-like symptoms on Monday, with a coronavirus test coming back positive this morning,” said Dr Angok Gordon, the coronavirus incident chief at the Ministry of Health.
Kenya, which has banned all international flights, confirmed it had sanctioned the evacuation of the UN staff, but denied reports that other South Sudan patients were to be airlifted to Kenya.
SEE ALSO: United States hits South Sudanese officials with sanctionsTransport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the known case was for the UN staff who had travelled to Juba from Nairobi.
“This is a different case. This patient has sought to be brought back and Foreign Affairs has to liaise with the Director General, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, for landing rights,“ said Mr Macharia, referring to Gilbert Kibe.
Though the nationality of the UN staff is unknown, the CS denied knowledge of any other case touching on Sudan nationals.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
“For Sudan nationals, they will have to engage the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health. They are the ones who can engage and see if there is a possible way,” said Macharia.
Permission request
SEE ALSO: South Sudan president, ex-rebel leader agree to form unity governmentHe said the Sudanese Embassy would have to put in the request formally and seek permission from relevant ministries.
There had been reports that some VIPs from South Sudan infected with the virus had sought to be evacuated to a hospital in Nairobi.
They include a high-ranking member of President Salva Kiir’s government and his children. He is reported to have travelled to Berlin, Germany, but on arrival in Juba, caused drama at the airport and refused to be screened.
They later developed Covid-19 symptoms and reports suggested the group sought to be brought to Nairobi for treatment.
“Treat this as a rumour. We have no Sudanese patients evacuated to Kenya except the one who got prior approval and is already here,” said a senior official from Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
SEE ALSO: Salva Kiir pardons prominent economist, 30 prisonersBut The Standard established yet another VIP from South Sudan – a former deputy Minister for Transport Malek Kuoc Mayom – had been allowed to be airlifted to Nairobi for specialised treatment. However, his illness is not related to Covid-19.
Kenya, in a diplomatic letter to Juba on April 6, permitted the evacuation of Mr Mayom on condition that “no passengers are allowed to accompany the patient as they will be placed under mandatory government of Kenya quarantine facility for 14 days”.
“The ministry wishes further to request the esteemed embassy to identify and provide this ministry with names of persons based in Nairobi who will take care of the patient while at the Nairobi Hospital in Kenya,” said the letter.

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Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

Related Topics
South SudanCoronavirusCoronavirus In Kenya

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