What you need to know:
- He has produced three witnesses to prove that her marriage was conducted in accordance with the Luo customary laws.
- Mr Olweny, a land surveyor who died in 2016, owned properties in different parts of the country worth millions of shillings.
- Three witnesses said that Mr Olweny paid a dowry of 12 cows and Sh160,000 to Ms Atieno’s parents.
A woman who is fighting for control and a share of the late Nakuru tycoon Eliakim Washington Olweny's wealth is now fighting to prove her marriage to the businessman.
Ms Norah Atieno, who claims she was the second wife of Mr Olweny, has produced three witnesses to prove that her marriage was conducted in accordance with the Luo customary laws and had met all requirements.
Mr Olweny, a land surveyor who died in 2016, was the owner of Evans Sunrise hospitals and owned properties in different parts of the country worth millions of shillings.
His vast wealth is the subject of contention between three women, Ms Atieno and two others — Phelesia Akoth and Ann Wanjiru — who are entangled in a vicious court battle over the sharing of the Sh200 million estate he left behind.
Appearing before Nakuru High Court Judge Teresia Matheka, three witnesses said that Mr Olweny paid a dowry of 12 cows and Sh160,000 to Ms Atieno’s parents.
Cows for dowry
The tycoon’s cousin, Mr Eliakim Juma, a former CID officer, told the court that Mr Olweny instructed him to take four cows to Ms Atieno’s ancestral home in February 1993.
This, he said, was during the first visit known as ‘Ayie’ in which he said he also handed Sh40,000 to Ms Atieno’s mother.
“My first cousin Olweny instructed me to purchase four cows and take them to Ms Atieno’s home in Asembo, Siaya during our first visit to their home,” said Mr Juma.
He noted that the cows were purchased at Sh12,000 each at Akala market in Siaya County.
The witness further told the court that on April 10, 1993, he, together with Mr Olweny, his brothers and cousins, went back to Ms Atieno’s home to officially pay dowry and ask for her hand in marriage.
He said they gave eight cows and Sh120,000 in cash to Ms Atieno’s father after which the family handed them the woman.
“We shared food and a small introduction ceremony was done as negotiations were conducted and an agreement reached,” he said.
Mr Jairo Anyango, an assistant chief from Asembo Location in Siaya, said he was a witness in both ceremonies.
He told the court that he was the one who received the envelope containing the Sh40,000 and handed it over to Ms Atieno’s mother.
“I was called to preside over the ceremony as well as to bear witness,” said Mr Anyango
Bishop Tobias Nyarath of Nomiya Church on his part testified that he prayed and gave spiritual advice in both ceremonies.
Ms Atieno and Ms Wanjiru moved to court seeking to block a succession suit filed by Ms Akoth after accusing her and her sons, Timothy and Edwin Olweny, of conspiring to lock them out of their husband’s inheritance.
Ms Akoth and her sons have filed an application challenging the legality of the two women to sue as widows and want them locked out of the succession suit.
The hearing will proceed on November 2.