Court ends burial row for Kenyan diva

September 13, 2010 12:00 am

, THIKA, Kenya, Sep 13 – Popular Kikuyu musician Jane Nyambura, aka Queen Jane is to be buried at her mother’s home in Murang’a, a court ruled on Monday.

The ruling was made after a protracted court battle between the songbird’s family and James Kariuki who claimed to have been married to her.

Thika Senior Resident Magistrate Barbara Owino ruled that Mr Kariuki, could not bury the deceased as the pastor who presided over their wedding was not registered to undertake such a ceremony.

Mr Kariuki\’s lawyer immediately said he was going to appeal the ruling.

The protracted court battle has been underway since the death of the musician in June, after Mr Kariuki objected to a decision by the family of the musician to bury her.

He went to court seeking orders to permanently bar the family from interring Queen Jane’s remains at her parents’ home in Murang’a, saying he legally wedded her under the Kikuyu customary law in 2001 and later solemnised the marriage, under the Christian Marriage Act.

He argued he was therefore entitled to bury the deceased at his Makwa farm in Gatundu North.

But the court ruled on Monday that the music diva was not legally married to Mr Kariuki, saying Pastor JJ Gitahi, who solemnised their union, was not legally registered to officiate marriages.

During the hearing, he had claimed that his wife’s body was transferred from the Lang’ata hospital mortuary without his knowledge.

Queen Jane’s unmistakable voice propelled her to the status of queen of Kikuyu music since the mid 80’s when she recorded the song Queen ya Musaimo with the Mbiri Stars band which is run by another popular male Kikuyu artist Musaimo.

She recorded her first solo album “Ndorogonye” in 1991 under her own outfit Quenja Les Les.

Since then she released numerous hits including “Mwendwa KK”, “Ndutige Kwiyamba”, “Guka Nindarega” and “Maheni ti Thiiri”, which became big hits throughout the country.


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