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Ojode’s mother dies; rose to light in son’s succession fights

Soon after former Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode perished in a helicopter crash on June 10, 2012, a succession legal fight started in his family.

It pitted his mother, Ulda Aloo Ojode, and his wife, Mary Ojode.

Aloo died on March 17, aged 92. The family said she succumbed to a long nursed illness. She is survived by six adult children and 19 grandchildren.

It all started after Aloo petitioned the court to stop Parliament from paying any compensation to the widow.

She sought to be given temporary orders blocking Parliament from processing and making payment of any compensation but a court declined.

As the feud raged on, Mary would adduce a report on assessment of the assets and the liabilities of the late vocal minister.

It showed that he was worth Sh100 million but had liabilities amounting Sh80 million.

But the mother disputed the alleged assessment, claiming the widow had inflated the liabilities and omitted some 10 vehicles from the calculation.

She wanted the remaining assets after the debts were settled divided evenly between her and Ojode’s immediate family.

The legal fights became so protracted that at some point, the widow claimed in court that her only son Andy Ojode could not proceed for his Masters’ degree studies in the UK because her in-laws were restraining her access to the millions.

But Aloo’s rejoinder was that Mary was faking it, saying the widow was drawing a hefty salary at National Social Security Fund where she worked.

“The boy is not stranded as is being portrayed. My grandson Andy is not stranded for fees as depicted by the mother because she is employed and earns a huge salary at the NSSF,” Aloo’s lawyer Charles Kanyangi told the court.

The mother’s main contention was that the widow had filed the succession suit seeking to be accorded exclusive administration of Ojode’s estate alongside her son, leaving out other family members who were dependent on his support.

But the court finally held that Ojode’s other siblings were working, earning and well able to support themselves as well as their old mother.

Judge Aggrey Muchelule held in 2015 that Aloo be given Sh2 million in lump sum for her maintenance and the “rest of the net estate of the deceased shall be shared equally between the petitioner and her son.”

Ojode’s widow has now followed in the steps of her late husband to plunge into elective politics for the Homa Bay woman representative . She is seeking ODM ticket in the primaries.

Ojode entered  politics in 1994, where he was represented Ndhiwa constituency in Parliament until his death.

Aloo will be buried on Friday, March 25, at her Ratang’a home in Kwabwai East location, Ndhiwa.

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Written by Francis Okello

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