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Mzungu house help inherits Sh74m from employer

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Sarah Joslyn, 76, must have learnt of the saying, ‘Do not wake up one who sleeps; you’ll sleep yourself’. She made the most of her situation as an employee to a tycoon ‘Mzungu’. Ms Joslyn is the new owner of Sh74 million worth of property previously owned by her boss, British tycoon Richard Ingram as confirmed by the court this year.  After Ingram died on February 1, 2014, Joslyn was involved in a court battle with businessmen. She won the cases and was confirmed as the administrator of the estate.

But how did the employee rise to the top? Well, according to her evidence, she worked her socks off to gain her employer’s trust. Joslyn moved to the High Court in Nakuru in 2014, armed with evidence to prove why she deserved to inherit the millions after Ingram died.  Being a ‘Mzungu’ herself, it was ‘easy’ for her to get employed as Ingram’s house help in early 1980s. Court document did not show how much she was earning.

Through her alleged hard work and honesty, Joslyn said she earned Ingram’s trust and was appointed as his secretary in 1986. Joslyn produced evidence in court, showing that Ingram appointed her the sole beneficiary of his estate, because ‘he trusted her’.“The deceased never married and had no children. He thus appointed me the sole executor and beneficiary of his estate,” she stated in her 2014 court documents.She produced documents showing that before his death, Ingram gave her the general power of attorney on August 14, 2008, to manage all of his property in Kenya.With her was Ingram alleged will dated January 9, 2009. In the will, Ingram appointed her as the sole executor and trustee of his estate.“I appoint as the sole executor of this will, my friend Joslyn and I give her whole of my Kenya estate for her own use and benefit,” reads the will.The will also granted Joslyn the power to distribute the property to Ingram’s friends, doctor, nurse and manager as she pleased.However, a series of objections and accusations followed in 2017. Wycliffe Waita, one of the sons to Ingram’s former employee, accused Joslyn of forging Ingram’s will. Waita claimed Joslyn used the will to fraudulently obtain a grant to administer the deceased’s property.Businessman Stephen Ngatia also joined the case, saying his father Joseph Maina and Ingram were business partners since 1957 and he was considered family.He claimed Joslyn sought refuge from Ingram, then used his kindness to disinherit him of his property, when he was sick.“The petitioner used companies and lawyers to grab the deceased’s land,” said Ngatia.On May 13, 2021 Waita wrote a letter to the Commission on Administration of Justice, accusing Joslyn of secretly cremating Ingram’s body soon after his death.He said she cremated Ingram’s body without valid death and burial certificates from the Department of Civil Registry. He filed the letter as evidence before Justice Teresia Matheka.Waita claimed that although Joslyn was a stranger, she oversaw the cremation of the tycoon along with her estranged husband Roger Joslyn.“Joslyn had no court order or authority from the Department of Registrar of Persons and National Police Service to cremate Ingram’s body,” reads the letter.Joslyn was also accused of attempting to end Ingram’s life by using thugs to attack the deceased in 2007. According to Waita, Ingram wrote a fierce letter, accusing Joslyn of having a hand in his 2007 assault case, which forced him to close his farm after 2008. After the closure, Waita claimed that Joslyn took advantage and illegally issued notice to employees on July 29, 2010, declaring them redundant. Joslyn was on May 15, 2019 charged in court for allegedly forging Ingram’s will and signature.She allegedly authorised transfer of his land on dates between January 9 and 13, 2009 and uttered the documents as genuine before High Court Registry on November 30, 2015.The criminal case was later dismissed for lack of evidence. Even after all the various accusations, the parties in the succession case decided to hold mediation talks to solve the matter outside court. They agreed. Justice Matheka confirmed the grant that had been issued to Joslyn, on July 30, 2014 by Judge Anyara Emukule.Matheka adopted a consent by the parties. Ingram who arrived in Kenya in 1950, settled at Mwariki in Nakuru County and practised horticulture and kept pets, including dogs and donkeys. He also established a number of petrol stations and enterprises, including the Blue Cross Kennels. He succumbed to injuries from attack by robbers.

What Joslyn inherits 4,592-hectare land touching the tarmac of Nakuru-Nairobi Highway worth Sh50,512,000 One-acre property estimated to be worth Sh2,660,000 Four-acre property in Lanet worth Sh17,809,000 Two second-hand vehicles worth Sh350,000 Household furnishings worth Sh200,000 Sh40,000 in bank account

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