Mpango wa Kando photo

Legislators at the national parliament on Wednesday supported a proposal to block Mpango Wa Kando and third-party 'strangers' to marriages from demanding a share of the property when a spouse dies.

The Succession Amendment Bill, 2019 is sponsored by Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma. He also questioned the appointment of young female magistrates in 2019, challenging their maturity and professionalism.

Kaluma wants properties to be shared strictly among husbands and wives who are legally married and their legal children.

Not mistresses and boyfriends flirting should inherit anything.

" Those who love you will go ahead and formalise the marriage, " the Mp said.

“We see cases where people die, especially men, and people who do not qualify to become spouses under the Marriage Act possibly a girlfriend who was trespassing on your family is busy petitioning in another court elsewhere,” Kaluma said.

" The move comes after death. This happens while your wife is mourning you," he added.

“Because of the comprehensive definition of 'wife' under the Act they get named and they disinherit the family," Kaluma said.

"When I am dead, my wife should not be mourning while another one I met at a retreat somewhere is in another court coming to disturb my wife.”

Under the proposed amendments ex-wives and partners will not qualify as dependents.

“In Section 29(a), how former wives are defined is very vague. I propose to define a spouse. A spouse must be a spouse as defined in the Marriage Act, not a framework we currently have that lets a man coming to Kenya claim he is a spouse."

Kaluma also recommends that widowers automatically inherit the property of their wives without going to court to prove their connection as provided in the current law.

The MP explained the current provision as biased.

The Bill in its second reading stage recommends deletion of Section 29(c) which presents that if a woman dies, then her husband will only be a dependent if he was being maintained immediately before the date of her death.

“When my wife dies. I don’t need to prove that I was depending on my wife. The property of my wife is a property I can seek to administer for the benefit of our family,” Kaluma said.

Many legislators welcomed the proposals, saying they will end the new model whereby sweethearts emerge when a man dies, demanding to be beneficiaries.

Mogotio MP Daniel Tuitoek said the proposal will end intrusion in families by female go-getters.

“We are witnessing a lot of acrimonies. Every time one dies, the issue of sharing property becomes an issue especially by ladies who want to be included in burial arrangements and property distribution,” Tuitoek said.

Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tongi said the law will safeguard legal wives from intruders.

Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) said the era of people harvesting where they did not plant will be long gone with the passage of the amendments.

“It affects us even in this House as MPs," Sirisia MP John Waluke said.

"Marriage is very important and fundamental. For many years families have been hit because of properties.

"Love is always blind, somebody can make love with a woman and the property will go and children will be left empty-handed," he added.


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