Kihika family succession row deepens, ropes in judge

Dickson Kihika Kimani

Former Nakuru politician Dickson Kihika Kimani.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A daughter of former Nakuru North MP Dickson Kimani Kihika now wants a Nakuru High Court judge to recuse herself from a succession dispute involving widows and children of the former lawmaker on grounds of alleged bias.

Ms Elishifa Wanjiru, the former legislator’s daughter with first widow Ms Margaret Wambui, wants Justice Rachael Ngetich off the case over alleged unfair arbitration.

This was after the judge made a surprise decision to substitute Ms Wanjiru’s mother role as joint administrator to the Sh600 million estate with another daughter, Ms Florence Nduta, contrary to her wishes.

Ms Wanjiru, in her application dated May 9, claims the court acted in excess of its jurisdiction by granting reliefs which had not been sought.

According to her, the judge unilaterally appointed someone who had not been recommended by the family.

Initially, the late Kihika's widow, Ms Wambui, had requested to step down from the position over health concerns and recommended her daughter Ms Wanjiru as a substitute.

The court, however, named Ms Nduta instead.

Aggrieved by the decision, Ms Wanjiru moved back to court seeking to be allowed to file the appeal out of time and also have the judge disqualify herself from hearing the matter.

Ms Wanjiru insists that she is best placed to represent her family because she has a good understanding of the case.

She also alleged that Ms Nduta has been conspiring with other widows who are only interested in controlling the estate with no intention of distributing it.

“In appointing Ms Nduta the representative of the first house in the administration of the estate, the court ignored the fact that the said person had earlier unsuccessfully applied for removal of the administrators before she made an appeal which is still pending in court,” she stated.

Ms Nduta, who had opposed Ms Wambui’s application, had told the court that Ms Wanjiru was not in a position to represent her mother since she lived in the US.

Mr Kihika died in 2004, leaving behind eight widows, 47 children and property valued at Sh600 million.

Four widows: Ms Wambui, Ms Alice Mukuhi, Ms Mary Wangari and Ms Miriam Warau were named administrators of the estate on October 13, 2009.

However, the widows have disagreed over the distribution of the estate, leading to a protracted court battle which has lasted more than 16 years.

An attempt by four children, including Ms Nduta, to replace their mothers in the administration of the estate was unsuccessful after High Court judge Anthony Ndung’u dismissed the application.

The court will deliver its decision on October 7.

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