High Court ruling has declared that children whose paternity is disputed will no longer be subject to DNA test to prove that they can share in their father’s wealth. Under Section 29 of the Laws of Succession Act, if the dispute persists, the children can seek for their share in their father’s wealth as dependents.
A 19-year-old succession dispute between two co-wives invoked the attention of Justice Teresia Matheka. The two women CW and PN approached the court with two different applications. Ms CW wanted to be made a joint administrator to the deceased’s estate and her three children be considered as dependants in the distribution of property.
Previously, Ms CW worked in the family before she got into a love affair with the deceased, who died in 1999. Ms PN now wants an order compelling the three children to undergo a DNA test to ascertain if they were fathered by the deceased.
“It is not necessary to prove paternity because the three children are seeking to inherit the deceased’s estate as dependants,” CW said maintaining that the children were coming in as dependants of the estate under Section 29(b) of the Laws of Succession Act, opposing the DNA test.
The judge rejected the application for DNA it on grounds that Ms CW’s children were not claiming the property as biological children of the deceased but as dependants.
Justice Matheka held that such children have a stake in the estate if there is evidence the deceased had taken them as his own and were being maintained by the deceased prior to his death. But declared that Ms CW cannot be made a co-administrator of the estate for she could not prove that she was a wife to the deceased.