You’re heartless, judge tells woman who wanted stepfather dead to inherit property

A woman who wanted her father-in-law dead to inherit her seven-acre land has lost her right to property.

Teresia Kwamboka had sued her father-in-law Ezekiel Nyarango Mauti on land in Nyamira County. Ms Kwamboka claimed that Mr Mauti had issued an ‘oral will’ in 2005 bequeathing the land to her, but that he had not died during the period the ‘will’ was due to come into effect.

Environment and Lands Court Judge Mugo Kamau ruled it was ruthless for Ms Kwamboka to mention and rely on the will of a living person to claim land she did not did nothing to buy.

“It’s a sign of callousness, selfishness, recklessness, carelessness and ingratitude. It’s like she’s worried that her stepfather will die too long. It’s very shameful, sickening, disgusting, dishonorable and shameful that she had the audacity to sue him,” Judge Kamau said.

According to the judge, it was disgraceful for Ms Kwamboka to ask the court to prevent her father-in-law from entering or interfering with her own land on the erroneous and misinformed basis that she had acquired an “equitable interest” in the same account of the oral will.

Mrs. Kwamboka’s case was that she was married to Mauti’s eldest son, David Mauti Nyarango, who died leaving her a widow.

She said that in 2005 her father-in-law divided his 22-acre plot into three parts. He kept eight acres and divided the rest into seven acres each which he bequeathed to her and her brother-in-law Elijah Ondieki Nyarango through an oral will witnessed by their local pastor.

She said that based on the oral will, she built her matrimonial home on part of the seven-acre land and used the rest for farming.

Ms Kwamboka told the court she feared her three sisters-in-law had conspired to get their father to revoke the oral will and asked the court to confirm the will, grant her possession of the land and prevent her from working. to access.

Mr Mauti’s defense was that he was the sole owner of the 22-acre land after buying it in 1965 and selling part of it (eight acres) to pay his wife’s medical bills who died in 2019.

He denied ever giving his daughter-in-law an oral will, in which he granted her seven acres. He said his wish was to grant his five children two acres each and keep four acres of the remaining 14 acres.

He also accused his daughter-in-law of abusing, assaulting, starving him and kicking him off his own land, which forced him to take refuge at his daughter’s home in Nairobi when he was sick and confined to a Wheelchair.

Judge Kamau sympathized with the old man, stating that it was immoral for the daughter-in-law to drag him to court when he was ill, for land which she brought nothing to buy and did not was related only to the family by marriage.

“She clings to a 17-year-old oral will without telling us the particular circumstances in which it was made. Secondly, we are talking about the validity of a will made by someone who is still alive and who even testified in court and contradicts the alleged will,” Kamau said.

According to the judge, oral wills are admissible only in special circumstances when the person who wrote them is on his deathbed, or a soldier who has gone to war and died within three months of the issuance of the oral will.

The judge ruled that in any event, no law requires parents to distribute land to their children while they are alive and that Ms Kwamboka was stretching the law too far by asking the court to declare the seven acres as matrimonial property while that it wasn’t even ancestral land.

“The land doesn’t even fall into the categories of ancestral land. What if he had decided to drink all his earnings without investing anything like many parents normally do? I don’t understand why she took him to court because of his thoughtfulness in acquiring land,” the judge said.

Judge Kamau ruled that going to court to have a parent banned from entering their lawfully acquired land is tantamount to spitting on said parent. The same goes for forcing him to subdivide his land while the children are still able to work and buy their own land.