Polygamous Juja tycoon will now be buried in first wife’s compound with head facing second wife’s home

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 1 Feb, 2023 14:07 | 3 mins read
Polygamous Juja tycoon will now be buried in first wife's compound with head facing second wife's home
Juja tycoon Christopher Mbote burial preparations. PHOTOS/Couretsy

Two widows of the late Juja businessman Christopher Mbote have finally agreed to bury the deceased in the first wife's compound after a protracted row that saw the matter taken to court.

Mbote, 78, will now be laid to rest in Margaret Waithira's compound, but next to the entrance of the homestead of the second wife, Anne Njeri.

“I’m happy that my husband will be buried here, in a property that he bought when he was young. That is what I wanted,” Waithira said on Wednesday.

The head will face the second wife’s house in line with Kikuyu traditions that the dead are buried with their head facing the direction of where the sun sets.

The grave site, which is located between the houses belonging to the two women, was demarcated by a team of surveyors hired by both families.

The families resolved that the man be laid to rest in a place where both families can easily access the gravesite and not at the boundary of their properties as earlier ordered by the court.

“The court wanted us to agree on a few things and solve the issues that we had; we want to give our dad a decent send-off. We have agreed that he will be buried on this portion, it is not the center of the land but the boundary between these two houses,” Mercy Mbote, a second born in the first family told a local publication.

In a bizarre burial feud arbitrated by a Thika court last week, the court ruled that the billionaire be buried astride a fence that separates his two homesteads where his two wives live.

The court directed that each wife cede a small portion of land on either side of the fence where the grave will be dug, to allow them to share their husband even in death.

The deceased lived with his two wives on a two-and-a-half-acre prime parcel of land in Juja town, with the homes separated by a wooden fence which has now been brought down.

After his demise on January 16, this year, the first wife is said to have started burial preparations, including digging his grave in her compound, to the exclusion of the second wife.

Njeri then filed a petition in the court stopping the burial that was slated for today, citing a lack of involvement in the burial arrangements.

“If the burial is to go ahead as planned, my family and I will not have access to his grave now and in the future,” argued Njeri in her petition.

After days of battle in court, Thika Chief Magistrate Stella Atambo intervened, calling for a truce between the two parties.

“If we start hearing this case in court due to your obstinate stances, it might take months to conclude and your husband might rot at the morgue. If the concern is on the burial site, why can’t you come to a common ground as no family is bigger than the other,” pleaded the magistrate.

None of the families, each with its lawyer, was however willing to blink during the tussle and were determined to carry on the court battle.

At one stage, the magistrate resorted to summoning Kikuyu elders from Juja Sub County (Athuri a Kiama) to arbitrate between the two parties but the exercise proved futile.

Some of the family members even proposed that the businessman be buried at his Mangu rural home in Gatundu North Sub County arguing the Juja prime parcel of land attracted more value in terms of selling price compared to Mangu.

Mbote will be interred on Friday, February 3.

The deceased is survived by 13 children, seven of them by Waithera and six begotten with Njeri.

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