Kihika widow, daughter battle over Sh600m estate

Politician Kihika Kimani. [File, Standard]

A succession case pitting eight widows of maverick politician Kihika Kimani raged on in court after the family disagreed on an out-of-court settlement.

The case, which has been in court for six years now, involves a Sh600 million estate of the politician who died on November 19, 2004 without writing a will.

The dispute that started in 2005, paused on October 13, 2009, when Justice David Maraga named four of the widows - Margaret Wambui, Alice Mukuhi, Winnie Wanjeri and Mirriam Warau - administrators of the estate.

All was well for the widows until September 14, 2018 when their children felt they had grown old and senile and filed a joint application to replace them.

The children - Florence Nduta (Wambui's), Anthony Gichia (Mukuhi's) and Judy Muthoni (Wangari's) - claimed their mothers were unable to carry out the duties of administrators.

However, on January 24, 2019, Justice Anthony Ndung'u dismissed the application and allowed the widows to continue as managers.

A dispute then ensued between Wambui (Kihika's first wife) and her last born daughter, Nduta.

This was after Wambui decided to surrender her position to her other daughter Erishifa Wanjiru on November 1, 2019.

"My daughter Nduta does not have good intentions nor my interest at heart and leaving the estate to her would be to the detriment of my family," said Wambui.

Nduta opposed her mother's application in court on December 6, 2019, submitting that her elder sister Wanjiru resided in the United States and would not manage the estate well.

On February 12, 2021, Justice Rachel Ngetich replaced Wambui with Nduta. She ruled that Nduta was in a better position to manage the estate than Wanjiru.

Wambui was aggrieved by the ruling. She not only appealed but filed an application on May 10, 2021, for Judge Ngetich to recuse herself from the case.

Wambui claimed Ngetich was unfair and unjust. She said Nduta was not the right candidate because she was against her.

The judge refused to recuse herself from the case.

When Ngetich transferred to Kiambu Justice Teresia Matheka took over last year.

Noting that the case had dragged on in court and new disputes were brewing every year, Matheka urged the family to hold negotiations and seek out-of-court settlement.