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ELECTION 2022

Who got what: Inside billionaire Chris Kirubi's will

NATIONAL
By Kamau Muthoni | Jan 28th 2022 | 5 min read

A man of style and means, Chris Kirubi lived well. [File, Standard]

When business mogul Christopher John Kirubi lived, anyone who asked, heard or saw him knew him to be wealthy.

But, how wealthy was he?

Other than Forbes, which estimated his wealth to be around Sh40 billion, it was only God, himself and lawyers who knew how much the businessman who died on June 14, 2021, had amassed, and maybe his children.

Everyone else made a guess based on the finer things in life he had, what he wore and the companies that were associated with him.

Court records now reveal that Kirubi had assets worth Sh20 billion. His priciest assets include land, shares and top-of-the0range cars.

According to court documents filed in October last year, the businessman had accumulated land worth Sh3.1 billion. 

 Among the highest-priced pieces of land include one in Loresho worth Sh2 billion and another in Kwale estimated to be worth Sh111 million.

 Two other properties in Muthaiga and Mtwapa are worth Sh60 million each.

Kirubi’s life revolved around companies that he either started or had shares in. 

The papers reveal that he had business interests spanning transport, banking, insurance, sugar, farm and pharmaceutical chemicals, and the media industry. 

His shares in listed companies are worth Sh3.4 billion.

 According to the court documents, he used investment firms Upper Hill Investments Limited and SIB which held Sh7 million shares worth Sh112 million.

Chris Kirubi's son Robert during the memorial service for his father at the Faith Evangelist Ministry (FEM) church, Karen, Nairobi. Kirubi was buried at his Bendor Farm, Thika on June 19 2021. [Elvis Ogina,Standard]

At the same time, he had an account with 191 million shares estimated to be holding Sh3 billion and a second account worth Sh177 million.

 He also held 126,216 shares in the oldest reinsurer in Eastern and Central Africa, Kenya Re.

 He also owned shares in Kenya Airways worth Sh1.6 million, ailing sugar miller Mumias Sugar Company (210,000 shares) and Diamond Trust Bank shares worth Sh100,000.

 He also had invested in Nation Media Group, Standard Chartered Bank, BAT and NCBA. 

At the same time, Kirubi’s shares in unlisted companies are estimated to the worth Sh12.7 billion.

He had invested more than Sh1.8 billion in Bayer East Africa Limited. The agricultural chemicals and pharmaceutical corporation established its roots in the country in 1968.

 It is now in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.

Chris Kirubi daughter, Mary Ann Musangi eulogises her father at Bendor Farm in Thika where he was laid to rest. [Samson Wire. Standard].

In Haco Industries, Kirubi had 4.5 million shares worth Sh801 million while International House Limited and Kiruma International Limited are estimated to be worth at least Sh1 billion.

At the same time, he held 1,406 shares in Bendor Estates Limited said to be worth Sh5.6 billion.

Kirubi also invested in the technology sector. He had injected more than Sh641 million in Smart Applications International Limited, an ICT firm that has tentacles in Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

 The papers indicate that a Cameroon one is on the way, being registered.

“Fondly known as Smart in the industry, the company was founded to provide innovative, secure and high-tech solutions in Africa and beyond. Staying ahead through constant research and innovation,” its website reads.

Some of Smart’s clients include Kenya Commercial Bank, KenGen, Kenya Airways, AAR, Equity Bank, Gertrude Hospital, Kenya Power, Delloit and CIC Group.

His invested funds are said to be worth Sh257 million.

He had two commercial papers for Two Rivers Development worth Sh214 million. At the same time, he was expecting to get some Sh42 million from Chase Bank as a final payment.

Other expected funds include the sale of Phoenix shares (MUA Insurance) worth Sh173 million, Centum Limited dividends worth Sh7 million and French African Fund I-Frenchinvest which are approximated to be worth Sh123 million.

Meanwhile, Kirubi owned Sh29 million-Mercedes Benz Maybach S500. He registered the German marque as CK II.

The makers of Mercedes say on their website a Maybach S500 is the ultimate luxury for a new era directly linking you to the future.

 Another Kirubi toy can pay a salary for a Kenyan earning Sh100,000 for 280 months or simply 23 years. 

According to the court papers filed before a family court, the Kirubi owned a Bentley GT worth Sh28 million.

This car, according to Bentley’s website, features adaptive cruise control, a night-vision system, and an automated braking system with pedestrian detection. 

Powered by a 6-litre W12 engine, the monster accelerates from zero to 100 Kph in four seconds.

 In a revelation that details the businessman’s love for finer things in life, he also owned a Range Rover which he named CK I worth Sh25.6 million.

All his six vehicles are estimated to have cost him Sh108 million.

Meanwhile, he held Sh27 million in his bank accounts.

Kirubi wrote his first will on April 15, 1980. His wishes then lasted for 16 years after which he amended the same on April 19, 1996.

In the 1996 will, Kirubi had appointed Nobert Schlachter as an executor.

He had bequeathed his son Robert Kirubi and daughter Marry-Anne Kirubi 80 per cent of the estate. 

In that will, he had gifted his second daughter Fiona Kirubi Sh4 million.

In the meantime, Kirubi’s siblings Anthony Maina, Dr Michael Mirubi, Elizabeth Waithera and Salome Mburu were to get the remaining 20 per cent of the estate.

 However, Robert and Mary-Anne amicably agreed to give Fiona part of their inheritance. They will now give her 9.95 per cent of the estate which they split equally from their shares.

“We shall be grateful if you would record the following consent in the above matter. That an order be recorded that Fiona Wambui Kirubi shall receive 9.95 per cent of the share of Robert Kirubi’s and Mary-Anne’s Kirubi’s portion of the estate being 80 percent of the entire estate,” the consent reads in part.

In his lifetime, he chose a path to follow, pushed himself through college, got married, had children, succeeded in business.

Kirubi told Forbes: “People say I am one of the richest people in Kenya, but that’s not my concern. 

I mean, they say I am a god of sorts, but I don’t agree. When I look around at my companies and see the number of people we have employed, it gives me joy. It is more satisfying than having all the money in the world.”

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