Forty-three-year-old newly-elected Nakuru Senator, Susan Kihika, is yet to assume office. But she’s already in the eye of a feud in which the man thought to be her husband is embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with his first wife.
Beatrice Wanjiku, who is billionaire businessman Sam Mburu’s first wife, has moved to the Chief Magistrates Court in Nairobi challenging her estranged husband’s plea for custody of their two children because his wife “hates them”.
“The children have complained to me about the applicant’s wife who hates the children, orders them away from her and violently swears at them that she never wants to see them again. When the stepmother is asked why she behaves that way, she says the children are ‘grumpy’ and call her grandy on account of her advanced age,” states Wanjiku’s affidavit.
Dated April 2016, the affidavit is based on an application by Mburu to vary the consent order of custody of children issued in 2013. But Wanjiku is opposed to Mburu having custody of the children because “his current wife is mean to her children whenever they visit their father in his new home”.
“I am further informed by the children that when they spend time with their father, the applicant is always away from home and if custody of the children is granted to the applicant, he would subject them to the whims and mercies of an absentee dad, stepmother, mistress or simply other women,” she claims.
Susan, 10 years older than Mburu, is said to be the businessman’s third wife. The couple is said to reside in Susan’s plush Karen home. Mburu is the man who was linked to the senator’s flashy campaign that included branded choppers and fuel guzzlers.
The affidavit was filed on April 23, 2016 as an enjoinment suit to the main suit filed in January 2012, when she sought a monthly Sh757,000 maintenance allowance and custody of the children. She explained that she was compelled to do so after receiving a wedding card inviting her to a wedding between her husband and another woman.
Mburu separated from Wanjiku before he met Susan, a US-trained lawyer and politician.
The suit drawn by Morris Njage & Company Advocates on her behalf listed many grounds, including wife battery, heavy drinking and miraa addiction.
She also claimed that he was engaging in reckless sexual relationships, thereby endangering their lives and had left their matrimonial home, leaving her and the children to fend for themselves.
In her plea to the court, she argued that Mburu had accustomed his family to a good life, and swore that, “The plaintiff is a fabulously wealthy man and it is true the costs and standards of living at our Kilimani home is Sh757,000 per month. This is the standard the plaintiff set for his family. I know the plaintiff has a mischievous plan to turn me and the children into destitutes (sic) by denying us finances and forcing us to live in the less agreeable parts of the city.”
Her suit lists Mburu’s assets, including Landmark Freight Services, which has two branches in China and rakes in profits estimated at Sh10 million monthly.
She also lists 43 rental flats in Embakasi’s Airport North Road, 62 flats in Kitengela, 15 rental houses in Nakuru and six luxury cars.
“I have been part and parcel of my husband’s wealth. Until the year 2010, I had a steady job as a personal assistant to the managing director of the New Kenya Cooperative Creameries and taking home a package of Sh130,000. My husband persuaded me to leave my job and run the business of selling electrical goods in a shop along River Road. “Because the plaintiff intends to leave me and the children permanently, it is in the best interests of justice that he makes immediate provisions for the family’s upkeep and pay a lump sum to secure the children’s upkeep for the next two years.
I would fix the amount at Sh767,000 per month for two years, which amounts to Sh18,168,000,” she told the court.
Sam Mburu’s lawyers, V.W. Maina & Company Advocates drew a counter petition claiming that he was only cohabiting with Wanjiku and was not a man of means. Besides, he said, his monthly income was only half a million shillings a month. He offered to pay Sh136,000 monthly.
The court awarded joint custody and a Sh597,000 monthly maintenance allowance, including Sh140,000 for food.
“This honourable court does order the respondent to pay for the children’s education, reasonable provisions for the children’s holidays, local and abroad, and entertainment,” reads an order from the Children’s Court in Nairobi in case number 1253.
Mburu, in his affidavit, admits that he started living with Wanjiku in 2003 and their union was blessed with two children.
He states in his affidavit that, “I am a businessman and have a monthly income of Sh500,000, which fluctuates depending on business. Ever since our separation, I have continued to provide maintenance and upkeep for my children as well as the defendant. However, it is strenuous on my income to maintain two separate households.”
Mburu’s reply affidavit breaks down his monthly expenses as Sh200,000 loan repayments, Sh80,000 for house rent and Sh20,000 for medical expenses. He states in the affidavit that he survives on a paltry Sh50,000.
“I am still willing to provide for and maintain the children as I love my children and know that I have a responsibility to ensure that they are maintained and provided for,” he further states.
He breaks itemises his monthly provisions for the children to a total of Sh136,000. He spends Sh50,000 per term for school fees, Sh10,000 per term for school-related expenses, Sh16,000 for medical cover and Sh60,000 as his monthly contribution towards rent.
He states, “The defendant also bears parental responsibility towards our children to cater and provide towards their maintenance and upkeep.”