Joseck Thuo: Former Nakuru mayor who carried his will in the car until his death

The late Nakuru Mayor, Joseck Thuo. [File, Standard]

Keeping a document with details of his Sh1 billion estate and potential heirs, he moved it from one vehicle to another.

Robert Kavisu, the former driver to the late Nakuru Mayor, Joseck Thuo, who passed away two years ago, testified before Justice Heston Nyaga. He said the late Thuo, a former prominent hotelier and esteemed leader, allowed him to keep the will inside the car, a place he considered safe.

Initially, Kavisu worked at the deceased’s construction site at Abbey Resort in Nakuru since 2007 before being promoted to Thuo’s personal driver in 2020.

“It was during this time that he produced a document and asked me to read the cover page out loud, where I confirmed it was the deceased’s Will, as per the writings on the cover page. He called it ‘Kitabu’, covered in a newspaper marked JT, appended with the deceased’s signature,” he told the court.

Move will

Regarding changing vehicles, the court heard that Thuo instructed his driver to move the will to the newly assigned vehicle.

For instance, when travelling in a V8, the driver placed the document in the glove compartment, but when using the Mercedes, he would place it in the handrest compartment in the back seat, tasking Kavisu to ensure he travels with the will.

Unfortunately, in December 2021, the deceased fell ill and was rushed to War Memorial Hospital using the Mercedes and later transferred to Mater Hospital in Nairobi.

“I accompanied the deceased with a nurse to Mater Hospital. At the time, he was unconscious, but upon regaining consciousness on the way, Thuo anxiously started to ask about the whereabouts of the vehicle and the keys,” Kavisu said.

The late Nakuru Mayor, Joseck Thuo. [File, Standard]

The driver lied to him, saying he had the key, yet at the time, his son Geoffrey Thuo had the keys, and the deceased succumbed three days later in the hospital.

Upon retrieving the key, Kasivu learned that the will was misplaced and put in an envelope, arousing suspicion. He then handed the will to Nixon Thuo, the deceased’s son. Nixon, his mother Susan Wanjiru, and Maureen Thuo, the sister, objected to the will, claiming it was doctored.

Nixon alleged that his brother Geoffrey, his stepbrothers, and his cousins colluded in altering the will with their father’s signature failing to tally.

He filed a complaint with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Nakuru in June 2022, requesting an investigation into the will that was read.

Fake signature

“I learned about the deceased’s will after his death. Upon examining his signature, it didn’t tally, beneficiaries’ names were misspelled, and some of the properties were left out. When we asked the lawyer who drafted the will for a copy, it was different from what I saw. We decided to seek instructions from the DCI,” he added.

Upon consulting a forensic expert, Nixon confirmed his fears, noting a change in context.

He blamed Waiharo Ngeta and Nasasho Kabiri, who were appointed as executors and had filed to be issued with a grant of administrators at court, for destabilising the deceased’s family.

The widow, Wanjiru, 76, said her son Geoffrey and stepson James Thuo have a selfish interest in wanting to control her husband’s estate.

Wanjiru said her husband had been advocating for unity among the children and wives, alleging that Geoffrey appointed himself as the director of Abbey Resorts LTD as a way of looting the company.

“I deny the allegation that I have received Sh2 million from well-wishers following my husband’s death,” she said. The case will be heard on November 2.