Koinange estate row could head to Supreme Court
The Court of Appeal had last year directed the case to be taken back to the High Court for distribution of the property worth billions.
- David Njunu, one of the estate administrators, is seeking permission to move to the Supreme Court to challenge the inclusion of Margaret Njeri and Eddah Mbiyu as beneficiaries.
- Some of the beneficiaries argue that Margaret divorced the late Koinange, while Eddah cohabited with him briefly but never had a child with him.
The battle for control of former Cabinet minister Mbiyu Koinangeâs estate could be headed to the Supreme Court after some family members challenged the inclusion of two wives in the sharing of the vast estate.
Mr David Njunu, one of the estate administrators, went back to the Court of Appeal seeking permission to move to the Supreme Court to challenge the inclusion of Marg aret Njeri and Eddah Mbiyu as beneficiaries. The case has been in court for more than three decades.
The Court of Appeal had last year directed the case to be taken back to the High Court for distribution of the property worth billions. Justices Philip Waki, Asike Makhandia and Kathurima MâInoti cancelled an earlier order to share out the assets by Justice William Musyoka, saying he had not recognised two women as widows of Mr Koinange.
Some of the beneficiaries argue that Margaret divorced the late Koinange and married Charles Karuga Koinange, who is also deceased. It is their claim that she did not have any child with Mr Koinange, while Eddah is said to have been an assistant of the former minister and that she cohabited with him briefly but never had a child with him.
Through lawyer David Njagi, Mr Njunu wants to be allowed to move to the Supreme Court and have judges define who is a wife and what constitutes a marriage.
If Mr Njunu fails to convince Judges Waki, Makhandia and MâInoti to allow him to move to the Supreme Court, the parties will have no option but to appear before Justice Aggrey Muchelule for the distribution of the properties. The Court of Appeal judges will rule on the matter on April 27.
The matter was mentioned before Justice Muchelule on January 17 and the judge directed the parties to file and serve their affidavits and submissions on their proposed mode of distribution within 30 days.
The polygamous Koinange died intestate on September 3, 1981. Representation to his estate has been committed to various persons over the years, and the current administrators are Mr David Njunu Koinange, David Waiganjo Koinange, Margaret and Eddah.
In an affidavit filed in court, Mr David Njunu said Mr Koinangeâs personal and household effects and the residue of the estate should be divided among the family members and according to the number of children in each house.
He further proposes that whe re Mr Koinange had during his lifetime paid or given any property to a beneficiary, that property should be taken into account in determining the share of the net estate to be allotted to them.
The Court of Appeal heard that the family of Koinange is made up of four houses, that of Loise Njeri Mbiyu (dead), who had five beneficiaries, Ruth Damaries Wambui Mbiyu with five, Margaret Njeri Mbiyu with one and Eddah Wanjiru Mbiyu with one.
Mr Njunu has also proposed that the estate should accordingly be distributed among the beneficiaries according to the number of children in each household. Among the properties to be shared out are shares at Koinange Investments and Development limited, shares at Koira ltd, Kenyattu Trading company ltd, Limuru Dairy ltd, and shares at Centum. Others are 4,292 acres of Muthera Farm, 640 acres Ehothia farm (both of which are in Mau Narok- Nakuru county), Thimbigua farm (96 acres), Closeburn Estate (commercial plots- 10 acres), Closeburn Estat e (farmâ" 176 acres), Ikinu farm (11 acres), Thimbigwa plot and a Banana Hill plot.
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