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Chaos as family clash over dead

20 November 2012, 12:45 Oduor Omondi

Chaos erupted yesterday evening during a funeral meeting at Manyatta estate in Kisumu County after a family failed to agree on who was the legitimate wife of the late Jeff Otieno.

There was exchange of bitter words before the scuffle degenerated into a brawl as other mourners kept their distance, opting to let the bereaved family settle their differences in the manner they preferred.

The late Otieno doubled up as a tout and a boda boda operator before he died in a motorcycle accident.

He had been married to Elizabeth Adhiambo with whom they had a 2 year old daughter.

His death brought to the light the hidden family secrets when another woman, Rose Akinyi, also appeared alongside a five year old boy and claiming to be the deceased’s bonafide wife.

The family was at crossroads, not knowing the right ‘wife’ to build a ‘simba’ (Otieno’s first hut) in his father’s homestead with family members.

While some were in favor of Akinyi arguing that she met Otieno first and bore a son with him, others were categorical that at the time of his death, he had been cohabiting with Elizabeth with whom he had a daughter.

However, a close family member who requested that his identity be kept secret confided that the deceased was first married to Akinyi but they separated.

It was after this, they argued, that Otieno met and settled down with Elizabeth.

The strongest argument was that Akinyi has a son and so was more likely to be recognized as Otieno’s wife in line with the Luo culture which still favors the boy child.

Area Chief, Lucas Ogembo, and local elders quickly held a closed door meeting with selected family members of the deceased.

The deceased is expected to be laid to rest on Saturday.

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