Former minister Mbiyu Koinange’s orphaned grandchildren have joined the exclusive club of young millionaires after the court bequeathed them their parents’ share of the multi-billion shillings estate.
Justice Agrrey Muchelule, in his decision last week which ended the four-decade dispute, stated that all of Koinange’s 10 children and two surviving widows had equal share to his properties and that where the beneficiaries had passed on, their children would inherit their portion of the wealth.
It is the decision that created the young multi-millionaires by being scions of the late minister’s children.
Three of the ten children have died, leaving behind the four grand-children who will inherit their shares.
“The children of the deceased have equal worth, irrespective of their sex or marital status. Although some children appeared to indicate they are entitled to more benefit from the estate than others, the constitution entitles everyone to equal treatment,” ruled the judge.
Justice Muchelule noted that the battle could not have taken that long if the family agreed from the onset when the former minister died in 1981.
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According to the judge, the dispute was a lesson to Kenyans to get into the habit of planning their lives, thinking about what will happen to their families and properties upon their deaths.
The four new millionaires were the children of Koinange’s late daughters Mary Wambui, Elizabeth Waruinu and Florence Wanjiku.
They will first get close to Sh800 million each from the sale of Koinange’s properties in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Narok and Kiambu. They will also benefit from shares in several companies, worth billions of shillings, which the judge ordered should be sold and the money shared equally among the beneficiaries.
As heirs to their late parents, they will benefit from the sale of Koinange Investments Ltd, Kenyattu Trading Company, Limuru Dairy Ltd, shares in ICDC, shares in Danson Macharia Saw Mills, Mbo-i-Kamiti and all other properties owned by their grandfather but not listed.
The family’s biggest fight was for the 246-acres Closeburn Estate in Runda valued at Sh20 billion which the judge also gave the grand-children a share.
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This will see the four grandchildren get a combined total of 54-acres from Closeburn Estate which if they decide to dispose of will make them Sh3.8 billion richer given that an acre at the upmarket estate is estimated to cost about Sh70 million.
They will also get 278-acres each from their grandfather’s expansive farm in Narok, 42-acres from Ehothia Farm and 13 acres each from another farm in Kiambu.
It is a statement, Koinange’s children said they agreed with the decision and were happy that the dispute had come to an end. Even though some said they were not content with what they got, they agreed that it was time to move on and build their lives.
“We welcomed the decision and just as Nelson Mandela once said, we walked out the dark door towards the gate that led us to freedom. It is time to leave our bitterness behind, appreciate what we got, move on and serve the purpose we were created for on earth,” said Lennah Koinange.