In a strange burial feud arbitrated by a Thika court, a Juja billionaire will be buried astride a fence that separates his two homesteads where his two wives live.
Each wife will cede a small portion of land on either side of the fence where the grave will be dug, to allow them share their husband even in death.
The deceased Christopher Mbote, one of the wealthiest people in Juja lived with his two wives on a two-and-a-half-acre prime parcel of land in Juja town, with the homes separated by a wooden fence.
After his demise on January 16, this year, the first wife Margret Waithera is said to have started burial preparations, including digging his grave in her compound, to the exclusion of Anne Njeri, the second wife.
Njeri then filed a petition in the court stopping the burial that was slated for Friday, January 27, citing lack of involvement in the burial arrangements.
“If the burial is to go ahead as planned, my family and I will not have access to his grave now and in the future,” argued Njeri in her petition.
After days of battle in court, Thika Chief Magistrate Stella Atambo intervened, calling for a truce by the two parties.
“If we start hearing this case in court due to your obstinate stances, it might take months to conclude and your husband might rot at the morgue. If the concern is on the burial site, why can’t you come to a common ground as no family is bigger than the other,” pleaded the magistrate.
None of the families, each with its lawyer, was however willing to blink during the tussle and were determined to carry on the court battle.
At one stage, the magistrate resorted to summoning Kikuyu elders from Juja Sub County (Athuri a kiama) to arbitrate between the two parties but the exercise proved futile.
Some of the family members even proposed that the businessman be buried at his Mangu rural home in Gatundu North Sub County arguing the Juja prime parcel of land attracted more value in terms of selling price compared to Mangu.
After deliberations till late at night on Wednesday)which yielded the truce, a government surveyor was directed to hive out some portion of land on either side of the fence for the grave.
Police Officers at Juja Police Station were also tasked with providing security during the burial that is now scheduled for Friday, February 3.
The remains of Mbote, one of the billionaire tycoons in Juja with huge investments running across Kiambu and other urban centres in the country is lying at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home.
He is survived by 13 children, seven of them by Waithera and six begotten with Njeri.
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