Late Nakuru tycoon widow in trouble over required DNA tests

Ms Annah Olweny (left) and Ms Norah Olweny at the Nakuru Law Courts on December 14, 2016 when they sought orders to stop the burial of Mr Eliakim Washington Olweny.

The family of the late Nakuru tycoon Eliakim Washington Olweny is pushing to have a woman claiming to be a co-widow punished for disobeying orders for DNA tests.

The court yesterday allowed Dr Timothy Olweny, a son of the tycoon, to proceed with his application that seeks to have Ms Norah Atieno Wasonga committed to civil jail for contempt for failing to present herself and her son for a DNA test to prove their relationship.     

The DNA tests were ordered by Nakuru High Court Judge Teresia Matheka on August 20 and confirmed on November 25. Ms Wasonga and her son Kelvin Odhiambo were required to go to a Government Chemist lab to get their samples extracted for tests.

The tests were meant to prove that she is the biological mother of the child, whom she claimed she had with the tycoon.

The orders were issued after Olweny’s widow, Phelesia Akoth Olweny, and her son challenged the paternity of the child, whom Ms Wasonga was using to prove her claimed marriage to the tycoon.

Ms Wasonga and another woman identified as Ann Wanjiru are battling the Olweny family for a share of the late tycoon’s wealth, estimated at over Sh200 million and want to be recognised as widows.

Ms Wasonga claimed to have married Olweny as the second wife in 1992, a union that she said was blessed with a son, whose paternity is the subject of contention in the case.

Ms Akoth’s sons, who have denied knowledge of their father’s second and third marriage, want the women’s claims scrutinised by challenging the legality of the marriages and birth registration documents.

Ms Wasonga, who expressed confidence about her claim, dared the court to order DNA tests before she developed cold feet.

She failed to appear three times, prompting the court to issue a summons against her to appear on April 25 to show cause why she should not be punished for contempt.

When she appeared, Ms Wasonga claimed that she had indeed presented herself at the government labs but was mistreated and disrespected.

The court, however, directed her to appear at the laboratories on May 5, an order that she failed to comply with.
Dr Olweny successfully persuaded the court to allow the contempt proceedings to be heard.

In his application, Dr Olweny claims that Ms Wasonga continued to disregard the orders though she had been served several times.

The court heard that the petitioner had even offered to facilitate the process by sending her Sh10,000 for transport and paying for the test but the woman had refused to present herself.

“However, the contemnor failed to attend, and equally failed to present John Kelvin Odhiambo as evidenced by the letter from the government chemist,” Dr Olweny said. 

“Her conduct is calculated to scandalise the proceedings before the High Court thereby exposing the petitioner, the court and the administration of justice to ridicule, disrepute and contempt.”

Dr Olweny wants Ms Wasonga cited for contempt and an arrest warrant issued against her. He also wants the court to deny her an audience and commit her to a custodial sentence or fine her not less than Sh2 million.

Justice Matheka directed that the application be heard on June 9.

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