Edna Awuor speaks after court denies her request to stop Kiptum’s burial

The High Court has declined to grant orders halting the burial of world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum following an application by a woman claiming to be his lover and mother of his child.

In her application before the court in Eldoret, 22-year-old Edna Awuor Otieno claims the late Kiptum is the biological father of her baby girl, now aged one year and seven months.

She sought to stop the burial pending the hearing and determination of the case where she is seeking to be recognised together with her baby as beneficiaries of the marathoner’s estate.

The late Kiptum is set to be laid to rest at his newly constructed house home in Naiberi on Friday, February 23.

Through a certificate of urgency, Ms Otieno had moved to court to block the removal of Kiptum’s body from Eldoret Hospital Mortuary for burial at his Naiberi home pending an interparties hearing.

In her application through her lawyer Joseph Ayaro, the mother of one had also sought an order for taking samples from Kiptum’s body for DNA test to prove the minor’s paternity.

She told the judge that the family of the deceased had not only declined to recognise her but also refused to include the name of the minor on the eulogy.

Kiptum’s relatives, Ms Otieno alleged, had completely locked her and her baby out of the athlete’s burial arrangements.

The complainant argued that prior to Kiptum’s death in a road crash, the deceased used to provide for the minor.

“The deceased had recognised me together with the minor and he has been taking good care of us as part of his family until his death two weeks ago,” said the plaintiff.

On the fateful day, she said, Kiptum communicated with her, wanting to know how the child was fairing and promised to send her some money for upkeep and other basic needs.

While declining the application, Justice Wananda observed that the burial of the late Kiptum was a matter of public interest.

“Burial arrangements of the deceased are at an advanced stage and, therefore, stopping the burial may be disruptive, considering the resources that have been put in,” he ruled.

On the issue of the minor, the judge said there are other legal avenues that the applicant could seek to prove paternity of the minor.

“The interest of the minor shall therefore not be curtailed by this order. The minor’s mother is therefore at liberty to use any other legal avenues to ensure that the rights of the child are well taken care of,” said the judge.

The lawyer representing the applicant objected to a mention of the matter, indicating that he would seek alternative legal redress.

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