Catherine Kirumba, the widow of former Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru, is embroiled in a bitter property row with a woman identified as Wangui Mwaura, who claims to be her co-wife.
Reports indicate that Wangui, who had a baby with the deceased, is demanding a share of the late Gakuru’s estate valued at Ksh55 million.
The property comprises two prime parcels of land in Kiambu Municipality and Ngong measuring half acre and one acre, respectively.
Nation reports that other properties at the centre of the dispute are three motor vehicles and an undisclosed amount of shares at Kengen, Kenya-Re and Safaricom.
In court documents filed at the High Court in Nyeri, Wangui now wants to be included in the list of Gakuru’s survivors.
In letters of administration of the multi-million estate Kirumba listed four people as the only dependants of the deceased governor’s estate — her three sons and herself.
Wangui, 29, strongly opposes Kirumba’s claim that the four are the only survivors of the late Gakuru who died in a road accident on November 7, 2017.
She had unsuccessfully applied for the case to be transferred to Nairobi over costs involved.
“The applicant is unemployed and taking care of her son alone and is struggling to support the legal cost and other incidentals that are incurred in maintaining the cause in Nyeri. Cost of travelling to Nyeri to hear the matter and for mention is very high,” said Wangui.
While declining her request, Justice Abigail Mshila stated that the application was premature and incompetent. This is after finding out that Wangui was yet to become a party in the succession proceedings though she had an intention.
Days to Gakuru’s burial, Wangui had moved to the court seeking orders to compel Gakuru’s widow to allow her son to attend the deceased’s funeral and participate in his final rites.
This is after Gakuru’s widow declined to acknowledge that the child was fathered by the governor.
After deliberations, the two women consented to have the child be listed as a dependant of the deceased on condition that DNA tests proved paternity.
In her court papers, Wangui details that despite the DNA test conducted by Lancet Kenya proving that Gakuru fathered the child, Kirumba had frustrated every effort to have the boy listed as the deceased’s dependant.
“The results were provided to the respondent. We tried reaching out to the respondent’s advocates to discuss the issue surrounding succession. However, we got no positive response,” read the court documents.
In October this year, it emerged that the late governor had sought to divorce Kirumba in 2013.
The two are said to have lived separately from 2008, however, by the time of the governor’s death the divorce had not been finalised.
Kirumba said this in court as she testified in a public inquest into the death of her husband.
She denied claims by Gakuru’s family lawyer Martha Waweru that she could have been involved in a plot to kill the governor.
She said that she could not have plotted to kill her husband due to her convictions and faith.