Family of DP Ruto’s pilot embroiled in fresh battle over his burial

DP William Ruto's pilot Captain Mario Magonga who perished in the Turkana chopper crash [Photo: Courtesy]

The family of Deputy President William Ruto’s pilot Mario Magonga is embroiled in a fresh battle over his burial.

Documents filed before the High Court by Captain Mario’s mother Melania Magonga show that Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor declined to issue her with a burial permit since another person had applied for it.

“Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor and the operations manager of Lee Funeral Services Ltd Mr Paul J.K.J Van Brussel contacted counsel on record to inform him that there would be no such burial permit issued to me,” her lawyer Sammy Waweru said.

Mario was to be buried tomorrow.

In court documents seen by The Standard, Melania said her son’s remains were taken to Lee Funeral Home on March 4, 2019, after DNA tests confirmed the identity of crash victims.

The pilot, who died in a helicopter crash in Turkana, is said to be survived by his wife Harriet Nekoye, two daughters and a son.

Succession battle

He also had a partner, Joy Mwangi.

Magonga died with all the four Americans he was flying after their helicopter came down near Lobolo in Central Island National Park.

Mario’s mother is also embroiled in a succession battle with Ms Mwangi in which she wants the court to force the latter to release all documents relating to her son's wealth to enable her file for administration letters.

At the time he died, Mario was living with Mwangi and the three children. It is claimed the pilot had not settled his divorce with Nekoye.

“After the news of the death of Captain Marouis (Mario) Magonga, the partner Joy Mwangi confiscated and hid all the documents in relation to the estate of the deceased. The partner to the deceased has refused entry of the applicant, who was a primary beneficiary of the estate, therefore leaving her in the cold and without any benefits,” argued Waweru.

In the case filed before High Court judge Lydia Achode, Mr Waweru said Mario’s family intended to preserve his estate until the court clears the way for its administration.

In the burial case, Mario's mother says there is no reason why she should not be allowed to lay him to rest.

The case will be heard on Monday next week.