Inside Fai Amario's disputed estate

 Fai Amario and his late wife Monique Fai [Antony Gitonga]


The founder of Kenya’s pioneer micro-brewery Fai Amario, left behind a fortune now worth Sh760 million, a valuation report by the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning says.

The former Starehe Boys Centre dropout died intestate on May 23, 2010, leaving behind the fortune that is at the centre of a succession case pitting his eight children and two wives.

The property is scattered over Naivasha, Kyeni in Embu County and Kiambu.

From his base in Naivasha, Amario, built the micro-brewery and changed his name from Gilbert Njoroge to Fai Amario.

He was distilling low-end brands and making enough money that saw him acquire the property that is now at the centre of the family dispute.

At the centre of the succession case is Amario’s son Miki Ng’ang’a, the administrator of his estate. Ng’ang’a filed the succession case after he faced objections over control of the property from his sister Marsha Dee, alleged stepmother Bernice Njeri and step-sister Sheila Wangari. 

Amario died in May 2010.

But it is the valuation report dated June 28, 2022, filed in court last week, that opened the lid on the net worth of the controversial businessman.

The report before Nakuru High Court Judge Teresia Matheka, shows that Amario owned 103 parcels of land whose total area is over 130 acres.

Eighty-nine (117.1 acres) of the 103 parcels are valued at Sh750.6 million. The remaining 14 parcels measuring over 13 acres have not been valued.

Douglas Mukoa, a valuation officer who compiled the report reports that seven parcels have been developed, while 82 are undeveloped and vacant.

“I refer to a court order on the succession cause dated June 29, 2021. I have forwarded a valuation report of 89 parcels,” reads the report

Developed parcels include the Fai Amario Wineries Limited constructed for Sh17 million. The factory sits on a 5.6-acre land in Mwichiringiri, Naivasha, worth Sh78 million.

“The factory and the land have a total value of Sh95 million,” reads the report.

The report shows Amario built the Sh13.5 million Den Hotel on a 6.5-acre parcel in Naivasha worth Sh81.25 million, bringing the total value to Sh94.75 million.

Amario built one of his residences in Naivasha which the valuation report shows is now worth Sh75.65 million.

Amario also developed an old home worth Sh16.5 million in Naivasha and an Industrial area plot in Naivasha town worth Sh8 million.

Two prime undeveloped parcels are located in Naivasha Central Business District and are worth a total of Sh44 million.

The controversial businessman is said to have developed trading centres in Longonot and Kyeni, in Embu, all worth Sh 7.1 million.

Mr Mukoa says he is unable to value the 14 remaining parcels because he has insufficient information required to value the parcels.

“Once relevant information is availed [sic], I will finalise the valuation and forward the same to court,” he says in his letter.

The document showing the unvalued parcels has also been filed in court as evidence. Three of the parcels, allegedly located in Naivasha and Kiambu County are untraceable.

According to Mukoa, the deceased’s family is unable to trace the location of the parcels to date.

The other 11 parcels are registered under different names including a 3-acre property registered under The Kenya Power and Lighting Company.

A 3.4-acre plot is registered under the name Pamu Holdings Limited while one of the parcels has been attached over a Sh1.4 million loan.

The valuation report comes 12 years after Amario’s death and succession battle in court.

The delay in valuation forced Amario’s daughter Ms Dee to apply for a court order to summon Mukoa to explain why he had delayed his valuation.

Dee also wanted the court to find Mukoa guilty of contempt for disobeying the June 2021 order which directed him to do a valuation within three months.

Ng’ang’a Dee and Sheena Euston are the co-administrators of their father’s estate.

The three are currently in a rivalry with their step-sister Wangari, who wants to be included as one of the beneficiaries of the estate.

Wangari is protesting a grant of letter of administration dated December 22, 2012, issued to the three.

She details that Amario took her as his daughter before his death and had assumed permanent parental responsibilities.

“My late father used to make provisions for food, medical bills, and other incidental human needs and I still reside in one of his houses to date,” avers Wangari.

Wangari is also fighting for the share of her younger brother, a minor allegedly sired by Amario and her mother Monica Wanjiru.

In response, Ng’ang’a claims that Wangari has no stake in his father’s estate because Amario did not treat her as his daughter.

He claims that Wangari was over 18, when Amario married her mother, meaning she is not entitled to any share.

“The protestor (Wangari) is not a biological child of my father and she has no right to inherit the estate,” submits Ng’ang’a.

Ng’ang’a claims that the family recorded a consent that excluded Wangari from the list of beneficiaries.

The case will be mentioned on August 30, before the Deputy Registrar of the High Court.