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Court declines to grant woman’s request to halt Kiptum’s burial over estate

Friday, February 23rd, 2024 04:30 | By
PG 3- A-22-year- old Edna Awuor Otieno at Eldoret High Court. PHOTO/Print

A 22-year-old woman who claims to have sired a baby girl with world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum was dealt a blow after Eldoret High Court declined to issue orders she had sought to stop his burial.

The applicant, Edna Awuor Otieno had moved to court under a certificate of urgency to seek orders stopping the burial until she is recognized together with her one year and seven months old baby as beneficiaries of the late Kiptum’s wealth.

Kiptum and his Rwandese Coach Gervais Hakizimana passed away two weeks ago following a car crash near Kaptagat forest along the busy Eldoret-Ravine highway.

He is survived by his widow and two children while coach Hakizimana also had two children with his Kenyan wife.

In her application before Justice Robert Wananda, the woman had sought prayers to block the deceased’s body from being removed from Eldoret hospital morgue for burial at his Naiberi home in Uasin Gishu county pending interparty hearing application stopping the burial.

DNA samples

Through her lawyer Joseph Ayaro, she had also asked the court to issue an order for DNA samples to be extracted from the body to be taken to Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) or any other public institution to ascertain the paternity of the minor. She told the court that the minor is the biological daughter of the late Kiptum and therefore she has a right to benefit from the multi-million shilling estate of the international athlete.

Otieno told Justice Ananda the family of the deceased has not only declined to recognize her as part of the family and besides, failed to include the name of the minor on the eulogy and other burial arrangements as it is expected.

The complainant argued that prior to the demise of Kiptum through a tragic road accident, the deceased used to provide for the minor as well as taking care of all their needs.

“The deceased had recognized me together with the minor and he has been taking good care of us just as part of his family until his death two weeks ago through a road accident,” added the plaintiff.

Otieno stated that on the fateful day, the late Kiptum communicated with her wanting to know how the child was fairing on and promised to send her some money for upkeep and other basic needs.

While declining the application, Justice Wananda observed the burial of the late Kiptum was of public interest hence he inclined to grant orders sought by the applicant. “Burial arrangements of the deceased are at an advanced stage and therefore stopping the burial may be disruptive considering the resources that have been put in the preparation of the burial,” ruled Justice Wananda.

On the issue of the minor, the Judge said there are other legal avenues that the applicant can seek to prove paternity of the minor.

“The interest of the minor shall therefore not be curtailed by this order, the minor’s mother is therefore at liberty to use any other legal avenues to ensure that the rights of the child are well taken care of,” said the judge.

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