Man claiming to be Kibaki' son sues family, demands 'firstborn share' of wealth

A 62-year-old claiming to be the late President Mwai Kibaki’s biological son has sued the family seeking to know whether Kenya’s third Head of State bequeathed him part of his wealth.

In his case filed before the Nyeri Family Court, Jacob Ocholla Mwai wants the court to compel the Kibaki family to recognize him as the firstborn son and give him an equal share of the late President's vast wealth.

Mr Ocholla, through his lawyers Omoke Morara and Ms Peacela Atim, has filed a succession dispute order to prompt Kibaki’s children, Judy Kibaki, David Kagai, Jimmy Kibaki and Anthony Githinji, to begin distributing the former President’s estate.

In his case filed last week, Ocholla claims that he fears he might be left out during the succession process.

“That the Citor (Ocholla Mwai) has attempted to reach out to the Citees (Kibaki Children) multiple times but his efforts have not been successful. The Citor is afraid that the Citees might proceed with succession process without involving him and he might be left out of the estate of the deceased despite him being entitled to the share of the estate,” the court documents read in part.

According to Ocholla’s affidavit, at the time Kibaki died, he might have already written his Will and he is seeking to know who should be appointed as the administrator of Kibaki’s estate and who should benefit from it.

“It appears that Jacob Ocholla Mwai is the lawful son of the deceased and one of the persons entitled to share in his undisposed estate. Now this is to direct you (Kibaki children) to appear in the High Court at Nyeri and accept or refuse the probate of the said will or show cause why letters of administration of Kibaki’s estate should not be granted to Ocholla.”

“Take notice that in default of your so appearing and accepting extracting probate of the said will, this court may proceed to grant letters of administration of the said to estate to Jacob Ocholla Mwai, your absence notwithstanding,”

The matter is before Lady Justice Florence Muchemi who directed that the matter will be mentioned before the court on September 19, this year when she will give directions on how to proceed with the hearing of the case.

Justice Muchemi has also directed the Kibaki family to file their responses within 21 days.

According to the court documents, Ocholla says he chose to make his parentage public now and not when Mr Kibaki was alive, saying that when they first met, the former President not only acknowledged that he was his biological father, but asked him to always respect him as a father and never do anything that would injure his (Kibaki’s) character.

He added that he has for 15 years sought the intervention of a senior Catholic cleric and a senior Judge (both now retired), engaged three sets of lawyers and met Mr Kibaki’s older sister, Mrs Esther Waitherero (now deceased) to get the family to officially acknowledge him to no avail.

The man bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Kibaki.