Mzee Kibor’s children contest his will in court

Mzee Jackson Kibor

The late Mzee Jackson Kibor gives his speech during the first men only congress in Eldoret on October 21, 2019. Mr Kibor was key speaker at the meeting. 

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

A court presiding over the succession of over Sh16 billion assets of the late prominent Uasin Gishu farmer and politician Jackson Kibor has been told that the late Kibor prepared the will that was presented in court when he was of sound mind.

A section of Mzee Kibor's family has challenged the will, claiming that it is not a true reflection of the deceased's wishes and that the deceased was not mentally stable at the time he made the will.

A lawyer hired by the late Mzee Kibor to administer the will told the court that the deceased was mentally sound when he gave him instructions on how he wanted his multi-billion shilling estate to be distributed among his four widows and children. 

Property lawyer Bundotich Korir, who testified in court on Monday, insisted that the will was a true reflection of how Mzee Kibor wanted his empire to be divided among family members.

Korir told High Court judge Reuben Nyakundi that everything contained in the will was the true will of his client.

During the hearing, it emerged that Mzee Kibor's youngest widow, the fourth wife, had agreed to the will contrary to other family members who had ganged up against her.

The case pitted the late tycoon's 29 children against their youngest stepmother, Eunita Kibor.

Korir told the court that a few months before Mzee Kibor's death, he summoned him to a meeting at his Elgon View residence in Eldoret town where he instructed him to draw up his will detailing how his vast empire should be divided among his dependants, including children he fathered out of wedlock.

The lawyer dismissed claims by the objectors that Mzee Kibor was not of sound mind when he gave him the authority to draft his will indicating the mode of distribution among his family members.

"To the best of my knowledge, the late Kibor was of sound mind at the time the will was drafted and was able to understand what he was doing in terms of distribution of his estate to his children who have now gone against his wishes," Korir said.

He further told the court that the deceased's will was written on February 27, 2021 and was witnessed by two lawyers of his choice, Joseph Kaptich and David Songok.

"The deceased gave instructions that his young wife and I be the sole executors of his will which was signed on February 27, 2021 confidentiality," he said.

Korir told the court how the late tycoon invited him to his rural home in Kabenes village in Soy Sub County where he hosted his close family members, relatives, friends, church and political leaders.

He said the Mzee Kibor wanted to disclose the contents of his will to his family members and wanted him to read the contents of the will to them so that each of them would know their share of his vast wealth.

"I had a copy of the will with me which I read to the family members and other invited guests as directed by the late Kibor even though some of his children disputed the document," said Korir.

The lawyer said he had kept the original will under lock and key and only handed it over to his senior lawyer Wilson Kalya after the death of the late politician-turned-farmer, who read it to the deceased's children at a hotel in Eldoret.

The late controversial tycoon, who died in March last year after a long illness, is survived by three widows - Josephine, Naomi and Eunita Kibor - and 29 children.

His first wife, Esther Kibor, died more than two decades ago.

The late tycoon's assets, estimated at Sh16 billion, which are at the centre of a bitter dispute between his children and younger wife, include business premises in Eldoret town's central business district, several prime plots in Elgon View Estate in Eldoret, Nakuru, Karen Estate in Nairobi and Nyali in Mombasa.

He also left behind movable and immovable assets, bank deposits and thousands of acres of farmland in Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia and Nakuru counties.

The 29 objectors in the succession battle are being represented by 10 lawyers led by Ken Maiyo and Nixon Koitui, while the tycoon's young wife Eunita Kibor is being represented by lawyer Karen Chesoo.

In their application challenging the will, the objectors, who include the deceased's two widows, Josepine and Naomi Kibor, want the court to set aside the document, arguing that the deceased was not competent to make a decision.

They also argued that there was no equity in the way their father's estate was distributed, noting that some beneficiaries were given more than others in the disputed will.

They claimed that some of the properties given to the young wife were not part of the deceased's estate as they sought to have the document declared invalid through the court process.

Judge Nyakundi adjourned the matter till November 23.