A Nairobi court has directed that DNA tests be carried out to help in settling the succession row in the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s family.
In the case, Odinga’s wife, Ida, is embroiled in a bitter property dispute with her daughter-in-law, Lwam Getachew Bekele, the widow of Odinga’s son, Fidel, who died in 2015.
Fidel is said to have sired twins with another woman — secret lover.
Bekele, who only had one child with the deceased, is opposed to Ida’s idea of having the twins, a boy and a girl, listed as Fidel’s dependants saying the two were born six months after Fidel’s death.
“The petitioner has deliberately failed to include and provide or otherwise show the intention of providing for the said minors hence a red flag on her intentions,” Ida said in her application.
High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule directed that the two minors undergo DNA tests to establish if Fidel fathered them. Lawyers in both parties agreed to the directive.
The widow said on Wednesday that she does not have a problem accepting the minors as beneficiaries of her late husband’s estate if it is proved they are his children.
Muchelule, further, declined to bar the media from covering the case, saying once the matter is filed in open court, it has right to access.
The judge, however, directed that the children’s names should not be mentioned in a bid to protect them.
Bekele had applied for a grant of representation to allow her to run the multi-million estate, after the death of her husband on January 4, 2015, after he died without a will.
The estate in question comprises of Karen home, three parcels of land, two Range Rovers, a Nissan Sunny and a Mercedes Benz, and seven bank accounts.
Ida teamed up with her daughter Winnie to challenge Beke’s application in court saying the children deserve to be listed as dependants on late Fidel’s property.
The duo noted that Bekele had cut communication with the Odinga’s after she fled her matrimonial home in Tipuana Park in Karen, Nairobi immediately after the deceased was buried.
“That even though the death of the deceased remained a mystery and efforts were made to establish what suddenly transpired, the petitioners herein, kept off from the family,” Ida and Winnie said in a joint affidavit.
On her part, the widow claims the Odinga family is not supporting her son and disputes claims he has dropped from school.
She added that she co-owned the property in question with Fidel.
“Upon the deceased’s demise, the property automatically reverted to my ownership. It, therefore, does not form part of the deceased’s estate,” Bekele argues.
The case will be mentioned on November 13.