BY SAM ALFAN.
The battle for control of multi-billion shilling properties of former powerful minister Mbiyu Koinange could be headed to the Supreme Court.
This is following a move by some of the beneficiaries challenging the inclusion of two wives in the distribution of the late minister’s vast estate.
Mr David Njunu, one of the administrators of the estate, went back to the Court of Appeal, seeking permission to move to the Supreme Court to challenge the inclusion of Margaret Njeri and Eddah Mbiyu as beneficiaries of the estate.
The Court of Appeal last year directed the case to be taken back to the High Court for distribution of the vast estate.
Justices Philip Waki, Asike Makhandia and Kathurima M’Inoti cancelled an earlier distribution of the assets by Justice William Musyoka, saying he had not recognised two women as widows of Mr Koinange.
On October 30, 2015, Justice William Musyoka given temporary of execution of the judgment for a period of 30 days to enable Margrate Njeri and Edda Wanjiru to challenged judgment that kick the out of Koinange family.
The battle of the vast estate of later former powerful cabinet minister which has lasted for over 25 years in court came to an end last month when the court made final judgment.
Justice Musyoka made several declarations which included the appointment of new estate administrators to manage estate.
The judge said that David Njunu Mbiyu Koinange and David Waiganjo Koinange wil be the administrators of the estate, the judge revoked former administrators.
He said the new administrators should urgent steps to recover the assets held illegal by the members of the family.
Justice Musyoka, said property LR No 3561/2 and the Oceanic hotel and land which changed hand in unclear circumstance which be among the assets to be recovered by the administrators.
They also claim that she did not have any child with the Mr Koinange, while Eddah is said to have been an assistant to the former Minister and cohabited with him briefly but never had a child with Mr Koinange.
Through his lawyer, Mr Njunu wants the apex court to define who is a wife and what constitutes marriage.
The Court of Appeal judges will rule on the matter on April 27.
The late powerful minister died intestate on September 3 1981without a will. He was polygamous.
Administration of his estate has been committed to various persons over the years, but the current administrators are Mr David Njunu Koinange, David Waiganjo Koinange, Margaret and Eddah.
In an affidavit filed in court, Mr David Mbiyu Kionange, a co-administrator of the estate said Mr Kionage’s personal and household effects and the residue of the net intestate should be divided among the house according to the number of children in each house adding any surviving spouse as an additional unit to the number of children.
He further proposes that what Mr Koinange had during his lifetime paid or given any property to his beneficiary, that property should be taken into account in determining the share of the net intestate to be allotted to the child, grandchild or house.
The Court of Appeal heard that the family of Koinange is made up of four houses, the house of Loise Njeri Mbiyu (dead), who had five units, the house of Ruth Damaries Wambui Mbiyu with five units, the house of Margaret Njeri Mbiyu with one unit and the house of Eddah Wanjiru Mibiyu (one beneficiary).
David has also proposed that the estate should accordingly be distributed among the beneficiaries according to the number of units in each household.
Thereafter, he said, the distribution should be done equitably and not equally because the circumstances with each individual are vastly different.
“For example, a grandchild should not inherit the same portion as a child of the late Koinange due to proximity of the relationship,” he has proposed.
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, among others.
David has also proposed that Eddah and Margaret to hold life interest in the property the court may distribute to them as they did not acquire any property with the late Koinange and they did not have any children with the deceased.
Other properties to be distributed 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 Estate (farm– 176 acres), Ikinu farm (11 acres), Thimbigwa plot, Banana Hill plot, among others.