The High Court has blocked a daughter to former Nominated MP Philip Kamau, from administration of his estate estimated to be worth Sh1 billion located in Nakuru.
Instead, Justice Samwel Mohochi appointed Elizabeth Wanjiku’s stepmothers Teresia Njeri, Margaret Damat, Lucy Wanjiru, and her brother Joseph Njuguna, as joint administrators of the estate.
Mr Mohochi revoked a grant of the estate that was issued to the late Lawyer Juma Kiplenge, the executor of the estate, on November 19, 2013.
“The grant became useless and inoperative following the death of the executor (Kiplenge), on October 7, 2022. Since the estate cannot be left un-administered I revoke the grant,” he ruled.
Mohochi ruled that Wanjiku failed to prove that her stepmothers and brother had intermeddled with the estate they had been in possession of since her father died on May 1, 2012.
Despite Wanjiku suing the four over management of the estate, the court still ruled that there would be no conflict of interest if they were appointed administrators.
“The four are widows and the son of the deceased (Kamau). The court has no doubt that they are the right persons to administer the estate since they also represent the four households in the family,” he ruled.
The judge faulted Wanjiku for alleging without any concrete proof that her stepmothers and brother would not have her interest at heart when administering the estate.
He took note of the trite law that one who alleges must prove but said that there was no basis for the court to arrive at a finding that the four could not administer the estate impartially.
“The court is being invited to speculate and declines to do so,” ruled Mohochi.
He dismissed Wanjiku’s claim that the four had been unlawfully misusing the estate and interfering with it in the period of the succession case by collecting revenues for themselves and side-lining others.
According to Mohochi, a September 8, 2016 ruling by Judge Anthony Ndung’u who was handling the case, gave the four permission to collect revenue and rent for the estate.
The four, the court ruled, are expected to prepare and file a comprehensive status update of the estate within 45 days.
“The status update will include all expenses incurred, revenues collected, assets, liabilities, and any other encumbrances on the estate,” ruled Mohochi.
He further granted Wanjiku a 30-day leave to appeal the decision if she is aggrieved.
The ruling is a blow to Wanjiku who had applied for the court to appoint the public trustee or one of her cousins Elizabeth Waithaka as an administrator.
Wanjiku submitted that the three were never married to her father and he only cohabited with them when her mother Alice Kahaki died on August 25, 1983.
She claimed that the women and her brother would be unfair to her and would use their powers to disinherit her, her late mother Kahaki, and her siblings. Wanjiku alleged that Njuguna colluded with their step-mothers and her father, to disinherit her mother who allegedly owned 95 percent of the estate.
“My father used his means and position in the family to ensure all the assets in the estate were registered in his name,” alleged Wanjiku.
She thus deposed that the estate would be in safe hands if it was administered by a public trustee.
She claimed that the entire family, save for Wanjiku and a few of her siblings, met and agreed that a fresh grant of letters of administration be issued to three surviving widows and Njuguna.
Kamau’s estate includes the famous Pinkam House and Molo House, slaughterhouse, funeral home, prime plots, residential homes, shops, land, enterprises, motor vehicles, and savings in banks.