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Ida Odinga seeks out-of-court deal in row over Fidel assets

Mama Ida Odinga
Mama Ida Odinga at a past event. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Former prime minister Raila Odinga’s wife, Ida, and her daughter-in-law, Lwam Getachew Bekele, are considering an out-of-court deal in their legal fight for the control of the estate of the late Fidel Odinga.

Lawyers representing both parties Wednesday informed Justice Aggrey Muchelule that they were in talks to reach a settlement and asked the judge for more time to reach a deal.

“We have started negotiations and need at least two weeks to finalise the talks," Ms Bekele through her lawyer, Roger Sagana, told the court. Otiende Amollo for the Odinga family said he was not opposed to the adjournment

The family is embroiled in a dispute after the Odingas accused Ms Bekele of sidelining twins the late Fidel had sired with another woman, Phoebe Akinyi Gweno.

The twins, born months after his death in January 2015, are at the centre of the property battle where Mrs Odinga and daughter Winnie are seeking rights of administration over Fidel’s estate.

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The rights were granted to Fidel’s widow Lwam in January, but the Odingas claim this has disadvantaged the twins, among other issues.

Justice Muchelule on Wednesday allowed Ms Akinyi to join the case to protect the interests of her children. He said it was prudent to allow her as an interested party in the case.

Ida and Winnie hold that Lwam is aware of the existence of the twins but she has allegedly chosen to sideline them.

Justice Muchelule had in October ordered DNA tests to establish the children’s paternity, but they are yet to be conducted.

In the case, Mrs Odinga moved to court arguing that she wants to protect the interests of other beneficiaries of the estate of Fidel and her other children.

She accused Ms Bekele of secretly filing the application to control Fidel’s assets and failing to furnish them with the papers despite having an interest in the estate.

"The said grant was issued erroneously, as it unjustifiably locked out other interested parties from the estate of the deceased, his other children, his mother and sister respectively. The proposed administrators cannot be entrusted alone to faithfully administer according to the law the estate of the deceased and render a true and just account of such estate," she said.

Ida and Winnie want the High Court to revoke administration letters granted to Ms Bekele and instead allow them to control the late Fidel’s assets.

Fidel died without writing a will and had acquired several properties among them their Karen’s Tipuana Park home, two pieces of land in Kisumu and another in Kajiado, shares in Axum Investments Limited and Ambesa Investments Limited, and four vehicles including two Range Rovers and a Mercedes Benz.

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