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Bob Collymore's widow to wait longer for court to clear her to manage wealth

NATIONAL
By Kamau Muthoni | July 6th 2021
Bob Collymore and Wambui Kamiru during their wedding. [File, Standard]

The distribution of millions left behind by former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore was pushed forward after the High Court learnt his children could not participate as they were in the United Kingdom.

Consequently, Collymore's widow Wambui Kamiru will have to wait a little bit longer to know whether she will be granted letters to solely administer her husband's estate.

Family Court judge Maureen Odero directed that the case be placed before her on July 29 when the widow and Collymore's children who live in the United Kingdom will confirm that they are not opposed to how the deceased decided to have his possessions distributed.

If the will is contested, the case will first be flagged for mediation, to see if it can be amicably settled out of court. If not settled, then the case is handed to the judge who subsequently hears the opposition.

If there is no contest, the court requires that each person listed as a beneficiary confirms that they are not opposed to either a person administering the estate or how it should be shared.  At the same time, one is required to confirm that he or she has not been forced to agree to the terms of a will or division of an estate.

Collymore left all his Kenyan wealth estimated at hundreds of millions of shillings to his wife Wambui Kamiru.

In wishes captured in his final will he appointed State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita as an alternate executor of his will should anything happen to Wambui.

Collymore married Wambui in April 2016 but died three years into the marriage in July 2019. In the application for grant of probate lodged with the courts, the full inventory of his wealth estimated to run into millions has been redacted.

In 2015, Collymore had declared his Kenyan wealth as assets worth Sh287 million.

The will strictly applies to his wealth in Kenya and mentions separate assets outside the country.

He had two wills that will take effect concurrently and independently of each other. The Kenyan one was drawn by Kaplan & Stratton in Nairobi and witnessed by Safaricom Chief Finance Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit and Charles Wanjohi, Safaricom’s Director of the Consumer Business Unit.

Mr Waita is a former Safaricom top manager who was poached by State House to head the Presidential Delivery Unit (PDU). In a scenario where Nzioka was the sole trustee, Collymore’s wealth in Kenya would be split between three entities.

Collymore's son by his previous marriage James Collymore of the UK would take 40 per cent of his wealth while his daughter Sarah Collymore, also a resident in the UK, would get an equal share of the estate.

Wambui’s children would get 20 per cent of the wealth but only after attaining the age of 18, and in equal shares. If the trusts fail for whatever reason in this second scenario, Nzioka as the sole trustee shall hold the wealth in trust capacity for education and maintenance of Collymore estate.

“During his lifetime, the deceased was a prominent figure but he kept his personal affairs very private and listing of the assets in the application for Grant of Probate will expose the family to undue publicity that would be prejudicial,” Wambui says in an affidavit for the grant.

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