Wambui Otieno’s Peter Mbugua is now a lawyer and happily married

Wambui Otieno with Peter Mbugua

Wambui’s daughters swiftly kicked Peter Mbugua out of their Upper Matasia mansion with nothing but the shirt on his back, the young mason moved into a tin-roofed structure in Satellite estate to begin life afresh


By The Weekly Vision Political Correspondent Nairobi

It was probably the most significant event of 2006 in Kenya and without doubt, the wedding of the year, when at only 23 years of age, Nairobi based carpenter Peter Mbugua who was then employed as a farmhand at the Upper Matasia home of criminal lawyer S.M. Otieno wedded his aged 75-year-old widow at a colourful event.

The landmark event that caused a stir even in international circles was roundly derided by some Kenyans who accused the widow of taking advantage of the “poor Mbugua” who was himself accused of being a “gold digger” eying the old woman’s wealth.

Photos of the young man kissing the old woman and later sharing cake after the wedding stunned many around the country with claims that Mbugua was only eying the family’s wealth. In international circles, the Mbugua-Wambui wedding made it to the Guinness book of records as one of the rarest events of the century! When Wambui passed in August 2011, Mbugua immediately found himself in trouble from members of the family that had never accepted him as part of the family.

Among the most outraged people to dismiss the marriage was the fire-spitting civil rights icon the late Orie Rogo Manduli who termed it as “mid-life madness”!

Wambui’s daughters swiftly kicked him out of their Upper Matasia mansion with nothing but the shirt on his back. The young mason moved into a tin-roofed structure in Satellite estate to begin life afresh. According to a Will left by Wambui, Mbugua was denied several assets he was to inherit which included a car, land and houses. The late controversial Kajiado North politician, Wambui Otieno, wanted her second husband, Peter Mbugua, to own two developed plots and a car.

Peter Mbugua with his new wife

In the detailed will signed on June 19, 2011, Wambui distributed all her movable and immovable property and cash held in the bank among her 10 children and eight grandchildren

The will she wrote 72 days before her death shows the two plots are registered as Kitengela Kajiado Kaputei/13546 and Kajiado/Kitengela/ 2811, which she says she “holds together with my husband Peter Mbugua Nyambura”.

Mbugua was denied his “inheritance” but took all this with composure and as they say, it is never over until it is over. The dejected “widower’ uprooted from palatial comfort soon found a good Samaritan at the Satellite-based Christian Fellowship Church where he became a deacon.

Mbugua further enrolled online with a Canadian university and years later qualified with a degree in Law and is now said to be happily married and pursuing a profession that was Wambui’s first husband, SM Otieno.

Among the most outraged people to dismiss the marriage was the fire-spitting civil rights icon the late Orie Rogo Manduli who termed it as “mid-life madness”! She roundly told off Wambui saying she was “out of her mind” marrying a man who should be her “grandson”.

Wambui’s husband Otieno died in 1987 and his Umira Kager clan opposed plans to bury him on his Upper Matasia farm. The clan citing Otieno as a “Senior Luo elder” moved to court triggering one of the most protracted burial legal battles in Kenya’s history. Veteran city lawyer Khaminwa for Wambui told off Mr Kwach for the Umira Kager clan during lengthy court hearings arguing that the late city lawyer was a “refined urbanite” who did not practice Luo customs and had not even built a home at his ancestral home in Nyalgunga.

But Kwach rooted for time-honoured Luo traditions and customs and after three years of lengthy hearings, appeals, and submissions the clan had their way and Otieno was laid to rest in his ancestral lakeside village, the widow angrily refused to attend the burial and later rejected plans for the clan to find her an “inheritor” as per Luo culture.

Wambui then stunned the clan by opting to marry her farmhand 37 years her junior and brushed aside public ridicule and angry reaction from a cross-section of Kenyans. But some women defended the widow saying what is “good for the gander is also good for the goose” saying much older men marry young girls.

 Wambui told off her daughters who include Transparency International firebrand Gladwell Otieno, and the bickering Umira Kager clan who had chosen for her an “inheritor”.

Gladwell had fiercely opposed the Mbugua-Wambui wedding and exchanged harsh words with the mother who once publicly disowned her wondering why at her advanced age she was ‘neither married nor had children.”

The happy go lucky widow then laughed off critics from politicians and civil rights activists telling them to mind their own “damned” business as she had ‘found the love of her life” saying the cold nights of loneliness were now over. In the detailed will signed on June 19, 2011, Wambui distributed all her movable and immovable property and cash held in the bank among her 10 children and eight grandchildren.

Mbugua was denied ownership of a Toyota G-Touring insured with AIG Kenya Insurance Company. This is the vehicle Wambui and Mbugua used for the better part of their life together.

However, it was sold and the proceeds plus an additional amount were used to buy the Harrier, according to sources in the family. A lawyer who declined to be dragged into the family’s affairs says a person cannot document in a will what one does not legally own.

“I can see the car is registered in Mbugua’s name. Legally speaking, this ownership supersedes whatever else the will is saying about the car,” says the matrimonial law expert.

The matrimonial home located at Forest Edge estate in Karen where the couple lived was inherited by her daughters Gladwell Otieno and sons Jairus Ougo and Fredrick Munyua.

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