The family of a former Nyeri mayor and a man claiming to be his son are embroiled in a court battle over control of his multi-million shilling estate.
Marcellino Nderitu Matteo, who served as the first elected mayor of Nyeri in 1971, left property estimated to be worth over Sh60 million.
According to documents filed at the High Court in Nyeri, Nderitu had no children, and left no will on how his property should be shared. He died on February 4, 2014.
Some of his properties being contested include vast pieces of land, rental houses in Endarasha, prime properties in Ring Road estate and business premises in the town.
Nderitu married Eva Gachoki in 1952. Eva died on August 25, 2010.
The battle over the estate took a different turn when Patrick Kanyi Wamuyu, 47, published a gazette notice on February 3, 2014, seeking grant of letters of administration intestate.
Nderitu’s sisters Cornella Wanjiru Matteo (now deceased), Kadida Nyokabi, nieces and nephews, led by Father John Baptsita Gichuhi, however, raised an objection.
In an affidavit by Nyokabi, which is before Justice Teresia Matheka, the family objected to the making of the grant of representation to Wamuyu, terming him as a stranger to the family.
The family is represented by lawyers Gacheru Wabandi and Githiga Mwangi.
In accordance with the law, Nyokabi said she was the one entitled to administer the estate.
She claimed the petitioner neither attended Nderitu’s burial nor visited him in hospital, and that the death certificate in his possession was illegally procured.
But Wamuyu, through his lawyer M K Kiminda, insists he and his mother Anne Wamuyu Kanyi are beneficiaries, adding that he filed the petition in his capacity as Nderitu’s son.
In his affidavit in support of confirmation of grant of administration intestate, he says the identification of shares has been ascertained and all belong to him.
Some of the properties he claims include LR Tetu/Muthuaini 1689, LR Nyeri Endarasha township/12(L) and plot No 215 Kamuyu village (Nyeri Municipal BLK 1/251).
An order by consent before Justice John Mativo on September 19, 2016, appointed Wamuyu, Fr Gichuhi, Wanjiru and Mugweru as joint administrators of the estate.
On March 8, last year, the family filed summons for the distribution of the property, but Wamuyu objected.