Luo elites: Ruling on children born by widowed woman is against our cultural beliefs

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Luo leaders led by Governors Cornel Rasanga, Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o at Got Ramogi cultural festival, Got Ramogi hills in Bondo Constituency.

The high court on July 10, ruled that children born by a widow more than 9 months after death of the husband are not entitled to inherit a share of his property, something that has triggered emotions more so from our brothers from the lake region where wife inheritance is part and parcel of their rich culture.

One Dennis Ochieng’, an advocate of the high court, while representing the luo elites reacted passionately about it. In an article entitled, “They owe us a duty to appeal that judgement on child’s benefit”, Mr. Ochieng’ who is a believer in wife inheritance, poked holes in the judgement giving a number of reasons to support his belief. Here is what he had to say;

“I hear the high court has made a decision in some matter that a child born more than nine months after the demise of the mother’s husband cannot benefit from the estate of the deceased.

On the surface of it, it is a very well reasoned and sound judgment. I dare add, it is a very mzungu(whiteman’s) judgment.

Talking about mzungu, these folks have single handedly destroyed our rich culture over the past century or so. They told us African socialism is bad. We have subsequently become a society of the horn bill’s problem is hornbill’s problem. To be fair, we still turn out at Garden square restaurant to fundraise for funerals and generate paybill numbers for other benevolent causes.

I have just heard the argument, a very mzungu argument again, to the effect that we should embrace cremation. That if we can’t do that, at the very least, we should not feast at a funeral. How now?

Suggesting that the innocent kid should not benefit from the estate of the father of his siblings or half brothers and sisters and the husband of his or her mother is not only discriminatory but an affront to the culture of widow inheritance.

We all know the mzungu doesn’t like widow inheritance. They have discredited, derided, berated and ridiculed widow inheritance at every opportunity in the churches and through the NGOs. Mara(Oh) it is the leading cause of HIV and AIDS, mara(oh) it is archaic and repugnant to morality, mara(oh) it is exploitative to the widow…. how now?

Where I stand, I know that a widow still requires love at some moment after the mourning and grieving is over. The deceased is only dead physically but he is immortal and very much alive in our hearts and minds. The idea that a widow should remarry is alien to us. You remain the wife of the deceased who can only be inherited to perpetuate the legacy of the deceased. A deceased African man remains married in death and does not suddenly become a bachelor just because he stopped breathing. Death does not do apart an African couple. The widow cannot remarry. The children borne out of love post widowhood are the children of the deceased who are entitled to benefit from his estate and the judge who made mzungu laws should not upset that arrangement.

If we don’t stand up to the mzungu’s incessant assault on our rich culture, we will end up with no culture at all. Mwacha mila ni mtumwa(Whoever abandons cultural practice and beliefs is a slave). We will become slaves. Before we know it, widow inheritance will be gone. Polygamy will be gone etc etc will be gone. The parties in that court case owe us a near divine obligation to take that matter to be heard on appeal in Bondo. Kes dhi Bondo(The appeal case is headed to Bondo)!!”

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