Judge dismisses two brothers' claim to property owned by grandfather

David Wakaimba, 86, at the High court in Eldoret during the hearing of the succession case pitting him against his grandsons. [Lynn Kolongei]

The High Court in Eldoret has dismissed an application filed by two brothers against their grandfather over Sh100 million in property they alleged was left by their father.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi stated in his judgment that there was no estate left by the deceased – Samuel Wakaimba – that his sons could inherit or be listed as administrators.

The brothers, Kevin and Ivan Wakaimba, had sued their 87-year-old grandfather David Mburu Wakaimba 2019, arguing that he had excluded them from the administration of their late father’s estate.

They asked the court to compel their grandfather to share part of their father’s estate so that they could use part of the wealth to complete their tertiary studies.

Kevin, who was pursuing a degree course in South Africa, told the court that he and his brother had been forced to suspend their studies due to a lack of fees.

According to the court papers presented by the brothers, their father died in a road accident 35 years ago when they were young children.

They claimed their father owned 100 acres of land in Plateau, Uasin Gishu County, which was reportedly sold by their grandfather, and seven prime plots in Eldoret town.

But Justice Nyakundi said the properties the brothers claimed to belong to their father were owned by their grandfather, who had provided proof of ownership.

The judge also noted that Mr Mburu had paid up to Sh5 million as school fees for his grandchildren from his own pocket.

“My view is that the claim being pursued by the applicant is not tenable under our current law. This means that the court has no evidence to open the pigeon of financial provisions. Under the intestate rules, there is no estate to be administered, and therefore it will save judicial time to dismiss the application,” Justice Nyakundi ruled.

The brothers had also filed an application seeking orders to annul and revoke their grandfather’s grant of letters of administration of their late father’s estate, which the Magistrate’s court had granted Mburu in October 1990.

The brothers had claimed that their grandfather obtained the documents by fraud after concealing the particulars about the whereabouts of their mother and her children.

They had further stated that their grandfather received an insurance payout for their father’s death after he reportedly lied that the widow could not be traced and he had no surviving children.

The brothers argued that they have been left homeless after their grandfather allegedly disposed of the property they had been calling home, and where their father was buried, without giving them an alternative place to stay.

Their mother, Rose Tiren, testified that she had been forced to move back to her parents’ home after Wakaimba’s death because she had no place to live.

But Ms Tiren said she did not have any documents proving ownership of the disputed property.

Mr Mburu, who is a renowned businessman and Bata Shoe Company distributor in Eldoret, had told the court that all the property that his grandsons were contesting belonged to him.