I was a bit shocked to hear on news that Wambui Otieno died in Nairobi Hospital yesterday, she’s not been well with a heart problem. I came to know about her in 1987 with her case against Umira Kager clan over the burial of her husband the late Criminal Lawyer SM Otieno. It was a hot case because Wambui Otieno wanted to bury her husband on their land in Upper Matasia in Ngong Kajiado and the clan insisted it is against Luo Customs to bury a man away from his ancestral home, unless there was a written will.
Wambui Otieno tried her luck in Politics in North Kajiado and Kamukunji but was not successful. She made news again in 2003 with her controversial marriage to a young man Mbugua when she was 67 and Mbugua at 25 and said men have been marrying younger women and people say nothing about it but when women marry younger men it is news. By marrying Mbugua she was giving women the courage of marrying younger men publicly. After a few days of the marriage Mbugua’s mother died and it is believed it was as a result of the shock from her son’s marriage.
As much as this marriage may have been a way to get even with men who marry younger women and making history, I believe many mothers cannot allow their son’s to marry or live with an older woman especially with that big age gap. Wambui Otieno was not young and with her health she needed a helper but the choice was shocking. May be she also thought about what would happen to her after she dies, just like the case of her husband and imagined Umira Kager clan coming to claim the body of the wife of their son to bury in Nyalgunga in Siaya County? Now she can be buried on her Upper Matasia land where she wanted her husband to be buried because she was legally married to Mbugua in a civil wedding in 2003 and this year she had a Church wedding.