Kihika’s widow loses bid to control Sh600m property

Widows of former Nakuru North MP Kihika Kimani; from left, Charity Nyambura, Miriam Warau, Jane Wanjiru, Alice Makuhi, and Lucy Wangari address the Press in Nakuru on November 12, 2016. [File, Standard]

One of the widows of the late politician Dixon Kihika Kimani has lost a bid to have her remain an administrator in the Sh600 million estate left behind by the former Member of Parliament.

Instead, High Court judge Justice Rachel Ng'etich replaced Margaret Wambui, Kihika’s first wife, with her last-born daughter Florence Nduta as one of the joint administrators of the estate.

Wambui wanted to substitute Nduta with her third-born daughter Erishifa Wanjiru. Wambui was the first administrator of the Sh600 million worth of property.

Clinging on position

Wambui, 90, and Alice Mukuhi, Mary Wangari, and Miriam Warau, all widows of the politician, had been clinging on to the administrative position since they were issued with letters of administration on October 13, 2009.

The widows took over the estate after the MP died on November 19, 2004, aged 78.

However, in 2018, their three children Florence Nduta (Wambui’s), Anthony Kihika (Mukuhi’s), and Judy Muthoni (Wangari’s) filed applications to replace them as administrators.

The children claimed their mothers were old, senile, and unable to carry out the duties of administrators.

The four widows opposed the application. They said they were still strong enough to administer the properties on behalf of the other beneficiaries.

Judge Anthony Ndung’u dismissed the application on January 24, 2019. The siblings were dissatisfied and filed an appeal dated April 17, 2019. It is still pending in the Court of Appeal.

However, on November 1, 2019, Wambui changed her mind and stepped down as the first administrator.

She vouched for Wanjiru to take over as administrator on claims that she would be well represented in the properties.

Wanjiru swore the affidavit on behalf of her mother and submitted that her mother was old and declining in health condition.

“The first administrator (Wambui) has requested to step down and be substituted by the applicant (Wanjiru), who will protect her interests in the properties,” read the application.

Wanjiru averred that her mother had worked hard over the previous 15 years, and disposed of her administration duties honestly and fairly.

“The beneficiaries have agreed and signed a consent that the applicant replaces her mother to represent her interest in the suit properties,” read the application.

Wambui had been married to Kihika for 50 years before he died.

Opposed by nduta

The application was opposed by Nduta, 51, and her stepmother Mukuhi.

In her reply dated December 6, 2019, Nduta said that not all beneficiaries had signed the consent.

“Only seven out of 47 beneficiaries have deliberated and consented to replace the respondent's (Nduta) mother with one of her daughters,” read the reply.

She claimed despite being a beneficiary, she was not given the chance to give her consent as required by the law.

“The respondent was not informed of the said replacement. She doubts the consent was arrived at justly.”

Nduta informed the court that she and her two siblings had a pending appeal relating to the substitution of her mother as an administrator.

She added that her sister Wanjiru had been residing in the USA since 1997 and only visited Kenya occasionally.

“On account of the distance between USA and Kenya, the applicant is not suited to be an administrator,” read the reply.

Her sentiments were echoed by her stepmother Mukuhi, who submitted that Wanjiru was unreliable since she was abroad. None of Nduta’s claims was disputed.