Kenya: Widows Can Now Access Spouses' Hidden Cash

The Ministry of Gender Affairs is working with the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) to help women whose husbands died without leaving a will to recover their property, Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia has said.

Speaking in Nairobi on Monday, Prof Kobia said that as much as 90 per cent of assets left behind are those previously owned by husbands.

"In an effort to ensure that the widows are assisted, we have partnered with the Ufaa to assist them to reclaim the assets to enable them comfortably raise and educate their children," Prof Kobia said.

The CS spoke during the International Widows' Day event marked at the University of Nairobi, where she was the chief guest.

The event launched by the United Nations in 2010 seeks to raise awareness of the violation of human rights against women in many countries after their spouses die.

CLAIM FUNDS

Ms Margaret Mukui, 56, a widow from Lari, Igembe Central, Meru County, told participants how Ufaa helped her claim the funds in her husband's account.

"We attended a seminar held by the authority in Lari, where they told us what to do in case our spouses left behind unclaimed assets," Ms Mukui said.

"I was told to go to the chief's office with copies of my late husband's identification card and death certificate. The chief wrote a letter to the authority and they released Sh100,000 from his account to me," she added.

She urged widows to get in touch with the authority for help in claiming assets left behind by their spouses.

Prof Kobia said the government had drafted a Widows Bill with the help of widows and other development partners. Their recommendations would be used to seal legal loopholes for violation of their rights in existing laws, she said.

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