The mention of Fred Kubai brings back the memories of the fight for Kenya’s independence and the famous Kapenguria Six.
However, a mention of the name to family members reminds them of a hardworking partriach who died in 1996, only for his property to be grabbed by his maidservant at the expense of deserving family members.
Kahawa Tungu learns that after the death of Mr Kubai in 1996, a case was launched at Milimani Law Courts by Christina Gakuhi, a maid to the late Kubai. In the case, Ms Gakuhi claimed that she was Mr Kubai’s wife and they had sired two sons together.
In the case, Ms Gakuhi wanted to given custody of all property owned by the late Kubai, as per the ‘directions given by Mr Kubai’ in a will dated January 19, 1991, a year after she allegedly got married to Mr Kubai.
After years of litigation, an order was issued in Ms Gakuhi’s favour on December 19, 2013 by High Court Judge W. M. Musyoka, validating the said will.
“I hereby revoke all my former wills and testamentary disposition made by me and by this last will give devise and bequeath all my real and personal estate whatsoever and wheresoever to my wife Christina Gakuhi Kubai absolutely and appoint her sole executor of this my will,” read part of the will.
The will talked about properties only in Mahi-Mahiu, despite the freedom fighter owning several properties across the country.
However, after instituting criminal proceedings against Ms Gakuhi by aggrieved family members, it was discovered that the will, ID copies and numbers therein were forged.
In a letter from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) forensic department it was confirmed that the will was fake, and not from the late Kubai.
According to a family member who spoke to Kahawa Tungu, the two sons mentioned in the will belonged to Ms Gakuhi’s sister, and she forged IDs to include Kubai’s name. Ms Gakuhi has had no sons, or children in her lifetime.
Ms Gakuhi even forged her own ID to include Kubai’s name, which was confirmed by the DCI in a charge sheet dated October 22, 2014. On the aforementioned date, Ms Gakuhi was charged with six counts of forgery which included the IDs and the will.
Loaded with the new evidence, the family decided to go back to court to seek justice and see that the initial ruling was overturned. However, it emerged that the family lawyer, Mr John Khaminwa, had been lying about filing the appeal while he actually did not. This prompted the family to protest in court, forcing one judge, Asenath Ongeri to take up the case.
To their surprise, Justice Ongeri dismissed the case on grounds that the family did not file an appeal within the stipulated time. This is despite the fact that Ms Gakuhi, despite winning the case, did not honour summons for confirmation of grant by the court.
Further, he ordered that the two sides file their responses, Ms Gakuhi confirming the grant, while the family rejecting it. Mr Kubai’s family filed their response, while Ms Gakuhi didn’t.
It is alleged that Mr Khaminwa has even gone to the bank and picked Mr Kubai’s possessions that were left for the family, and has not been appearing in court to defend the family.
“One of the sons indicated as next of kin went to the bank (KCB) but was told that ‘your property is with Mr Khaminwa’. However, Mr Khaminwa says that he has been waiting for conclusion of the case to present the wealth in court,” says one of Mr Kubai’s grandson who spoke to this desk.
In a bid to rescue himself, Mr Khaminwa is said to have been only securing mention dates for the appeal, without pushing for full hearing. The family now wants the case expedited an concluded so that the wealth and property goes to the rightful owners.