Last-born daughter of former Internal Security Minister John Michuki is in court again to seek what she terms rightfully hers.
At the centre of the renewed battle is control of the empire left behind by the no-nonsense late minister and his wife Josephine Watiri, both who died in 2012.
Since their parents’ death, Yvone Wanja, has often stated that her two senior siblings – Anne Wanjiru and Fred Chege – have over the years failed and/or neglected to render true and proper accounts of multi-billion assets left behind by their parents. Other late Michuki’s children are Martin Michuki, Francis Murai and Sheila Muriugi.
Wanja, a certified financial analyst, writer and wealth management consultant, in a fresh case, has applied to revoke a document allowing Wanjiru and Chege to manage their parents’ multibillion-shilling estate.
Wanja now wants the court to revoke a grant probate awarded to the two in the management of the estate that includes Cargen House on Nairobi’s Harambee Avenue, Windsor Hotel, and Gateway Insurance Company among other assets.
In her court documents, she states that her sister Wanjiru and brother Chege have not disclosed their mother’s June 7, 2012 last wish which makes full disclosure of the assets.
She adds that her elder siblings have not among other things annexed copies of titles, share certificates, details of directors and vehicle ownership on the document.
Further, Wanja blames her siblings of mismanaging the estates leading to huge debts.
“The respondents have willingly failed to diligently administer the estate. They have hoodwinked the beneficiaries that they wish the estate to be distributed. All businesses under the estate have performed worse, year after year and debts have increased,” Wanja says.
“The liabilities of Nairobi Golf Hotels have mushroomed to Sh625 million.”
According to Daily Nation, in her amended supporting affidavits, Wanja accuses Wanjiru of denying her access to the family’s probate lawyer Njoroge Regeru and Company Advocates.
“The first respondent conspired to frustrate my mother’s wish to have her meet her lawyer Raphael Ngethe in August 2012 to execute her wishes into a new will despite numerous requests,” Wanja says.
She adds that her dying mother was forced sign some unknown documents.
Wanja, further, accuses her two seniors of neglecting their mother during her last moments at hospital. She also accuses the two of changing their mother’s testaments after her burial.
The Michuki last born says her mother laid out the basis for her estate settlement and listed Mr Nicholas Ng’ang’a (current Safaricom chairman), Martin Michuki, Chege and Wanja as the tentative trustees.
She says her mother’s request to have the details documented by her lawyer and brought to her for signing, never materialized as the two siblings collided to have the request blocked.
“Shortly after my mother’s death, the respondent retrieved the original copy of the last wishes from my mother’s file at Ndung’u, Njoroge and Kwach Advocates. She later forwarded to me a copy of the said last wishes which differed with what she had shown my siblings,” Wanja says.
According to court documents, Josephine was listed as co-executor alongside politician Kenneth Matiba who at the time was not of sound health. Matiba died in 2018.
In her last days, court papers say Josephine convened a meeting to with her children to address issues affecting the vast estate.
Wanja says among the issues discussed during the meetings is the transfer of bank accounts to enhance management.
She adds that Wanjiru started moving their mother’s probate matter from Ndung’u, Njoroge Kwach Advocates to another firm without disclosing the full contents of the file.
In their replying affidavit, Wanjiru and Chege — who are represented by Njoroge Regeru and Company Advocates — say that they have filed the summons of confirmation dated January 31, 2019 and that the court directed the assets to be distributed.
“We can only distribute to the applicant her share of the estate upon confirmation of the grant. In addition and as demonstrated in the February 11, 2019 affidavit, we already made available to the beneficiaries part of the money held in the deceased’s bank accounts,” the two say.
“The balances have been shared and openly discussed with the beneficiaries. The said funds are only a fraction of the deceased’s assets as the majority of assets are in form of stocks in companies and parcels of land.”
They insist that they have not excluded any of the beneficiaries from discussions or failed to supply information relating to the estate.
Accusing Wanja of picking fights, the duo adds that it is not possible for the siblings to agree on the future of the estate since Wanja has applied to have her shares and they are pursuing division and distribution of the assets to all the beneficiaries equally as provided in the deceased’s will.
“It is apparent that the applicant is not interested in the confirmation of grant but rather in picking fights. The content of the supporting affidavits is malicious and untrue. The same is intended to tarnish the respondents’ reputation. The first respondent was not aware of our mother’s last instructions to her lawyer,” Wanjiru and Chege say in their replying affidavit.
In 2018, Wanja filed an application demanding a sixth (in shares) of her father’s multi-billion estate.
Michuki’s assets documented in court are: 1,536 shares at Kenya Airways, 10,400 at Ndarugu Plantations, 502 at Silver Homes Ltd, pme at Leading Edge Food and Entertainment company Ltd, 502 at Coots Holdings, 502 at Snipe Investments, 20 at Kangema Farmlands Ltd, 100 at Agricultural and Industrial Holdings, 56,900 at Mountain Lodge, one at Mika Estate, one at Nairobi Golf Hotels Kenya Ltd, 12,500 at New Kenshoes Company Ltd, 2,000 at Fairview Investments, one at Highland Tea Company and two accounts at Standard Chartered Bank, Koinange Street branch.