One of the widows of former politician Dickson Kihika Kimani has lost her bid to control property inherited from her husband.
Ms Margaret Wambui, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika's step-mother, has been replaced with her last born daughter Florence Nduta as one of the joint administrators of the property worth Sh600 million.
The High Court sitting in Nakuru made the replacement, going against Ms Wambui’s wishes to be substituted with her third born daughter Erishifa Wanjiru.
Ms Wambui, the late politician's first wife, was the lead administrator of the multi-million-shilling property.
But High Court Judge Rachel Ng'etich ruled in favour of Ms Nduta who had filed an application seeking to replace Ms Wambui as the administrator.
Claims never challenged
In her ruling, Justice Ng'etich said none of Ms Nduta’s claims were challenged.
"There was no dispute that there was a need to substitute Ms Wambui as an administrator due to her old age and ill-health. The matter has been pending in court since 2005. The court, therefore, replaces her with the daughter," ruled the judge.
According to Justice Ng'etich, no reason had been advanced to suggest that Ms Nduta could not play the role of an administrator and represent her other siblings.
The four widows, Wambui (90), Alice Mukuhi (79), Mary Wangari and Miriam Warau, took over the estate after the former Nakuru North MP died on November 19, 2004.
The High Court had named them as administrators of the estate on October 13, 2009.
However, in 2018, their three children — Florence Nduta (Wambui’s daughter), Anthony Kihika (Mukuhi’s son) and Judy Muthoni (Wangari’s daughter) — filed applications to replace them as administrators.
They said their mothers were old and were unable to carry on the duties of administrators.
But the four widows, in an application before the court, maintained that they were strong enough to act as administrators of their late husband's property.
However, the High Court, on January 24, 2019, dismissed the application.
The Kihika siblings appealed the ruling on April 17, 2019.
On November 1, 2019, Ms Wambui fronted her daughter, Erishifa Wanjiru, to take over as the administrator, but the move was opposed by Ms Nduta, 51, and her step-mother Mukuhi.
Living in USA
Ms Nduta told the court that her sister — Erishifa Wanjiru — has been residing in the USA since 1997 and only visits Kenya occasionally and, therefore, was not suitable to be an administrator.
She said she and the other siblings residing in Kenya were the best candidates to replace her mother.
Her sentiments were echoed by her step-mother, Ms Mukuhi, who submitted that Ms Wanjiru was unreliable since she was based abroad.
The court ruled in favour of Ms Nduta, dealing her mother a blow.
The Kihika family has, for years, been embroiled in a protracted court battle over the inheritance of his estate.
This has seen several tussles between Mr Kihika's daughters and widows over the ownership rights of the estate.