In Summary
  • The court decision opened a new battle over Mr Korir’s 17-hectare piece of land in Cheborgei, Bureti Sub-County, pitting his two sons — Joshua Kiprono and Samwel Kiplangat — against their six sisters, led by Rachel Korir.

A decision by a judge in Kericho to grant six married women a chance to inherit their father’s land has stirred an uproar among elders in parts of the Rift Valley.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi on July 24, in relation to the estate of the Joel Cheruiyot Korir, who died in 2012, allowed the six women to inherit the property left behind by their father.

However, elders have argued that the decision set a bad precedent that goes against the Kipsigis culture.

Myoot Kipsigis Council of Elders official Paul Kiget wondered how six daughters — some married for about 50 years — could go back to claim land at their parental homes.

“For a woman who has been married off under Kipsigis customary law and had dowry paid, to come back home and claim property she invites a curse upon their children.

"Once married they will now be advancing developments of the clan they are married to and will not be allowed to rob their father’s clan,” said Mr Kiget.

The court decision opened a new battle over Mr Korir’s 17-hectare piece of land in Cheborgei, Bureti Sub-County, pitting his two sons — Joshua Kiprono and Samwel Kiplangat — against their six sisters, led by Rachel Korir.

LAND

According to Mr Kiprono, Ms Korir, who left her matrimonial home under unclear circumstances, had moved to court on July 23, 2012, challenging a will in which their father had indicated that his two sons should share the land equally. Ms Korir moved to court after learning that the brothers had sought the services of a surveyor to formally undertake the sub-division of the land.

“She claimed that our father was not in his right state of mind at the time of writing the will and asked to be apportioned some land together with her other sisters who all have been married for nearly 50 years and are all above 60 years,” said Mr Kiprono.

He said their father had written the will fully aware of the provisions of the Kipsigis customary law which grants inheritance to sons. The customary law also grants some land to daughters under special circumstances especially those who are unmarried or divorced. However, at the time of their father’s death, the women were all married.

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