Inside mystery of missing Belgian woman and scramble for Sh100m estate

What you need to know:

  • Police are probing six suspects for a possible scheme to kill Mireille after they were named as beneficiaries.

  • It is alleged that there was a possible scheme by the suspects to kill the Belgian in order to inherit her wealth.

When Belgian Dysseleer Mireille moved to Kenya in 1993, she fell in love with a Samburu dancer and found a home and peace that would later see her become a successful businesswoman.

All that would, almost 30 years later, lead to misery and a mystery. In summary, the once bubbly woman is now missing, with dozens of people scrambling for her property.

A dancer of no mean repute in his heyday, Emmanuel Lesoipa, only 21 years old then, captured the heart of the then 35-year-old.

Determined to pursue the love, Mireille made everything possible to ensure that she married the tall dark man.

In two years’ time, Mireille was answering to the title “Mrs Lesoipa” after a civil marriage and set up their home in Lonkoben village, 20km from Maralal in Samburu County.

A bountiful and prosperous life followed their union. With at least 10,000 head of cattle, several parcels of land and a shopping complex in Maralal, the two had enough to be viewed as rich.

Mireille fast became popular among locals, who referred to her as Laila wa Samburu.

But this wealth that ran into hundreds of millions is what is believed to be the main source of the couple’s tribulations, leading to their divorce, a vicious court battle, the death of her husband, and now her mysterious disappearance.

After the love faded nine years into the marriage, the union was dissolved in 2004, after which the fight for the property started.

The court battle resulted in the sale of some of the properties in Maralal and the couple shared the proceeds.

Lesoipa died in 2017 and his wife, who did not bear any children with him, saw nothing left to keep her in Samburu and so she moved to Nakuru, where she bought a house in Milimani estate in 2019.

But she disappeared around June last year. More than six months later, her whereabouts are unknown.

Police investigations have revealed that Mireille’s disappearance and possible death is linked to her massive wealth.

This is after an informer reported to the homicide unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations about suspicious succession documents filed in the High Court indicating that Mirielle had left behind a will.

Police have since established that the documents used were unauthentic and investigations have zeroed in on six individuals who were said to have been named as beneficiaries.

Among them is her best friend Lucy Waithera Njuguna, Nakuru-based lawyer John Hari Gakinya and her driver Joseph Wanjohi.

The police say suspects have been providing contradictory information about her whereabouts, prompting police to detain some of them.

Ms Njuguna is already in police custody, having been arrested on February 1.

It is alleged that there was a possible scheme by the suspects to kill the Belgian in order to inherit her wealth.

This was after it emerged that Ms Njuguna secured the services of Mr Gakinya to file succession proceedings to take over the property, estimated to be Sh100 million.

Sergeant Franklin Kiraithe, a detective from the Serious Crimes Unit of the DCI, while seeking to stop the succession proceedings, said he is investigating the lawyer for a possible forgery case.

According to Mr Kiraithe, investigations have revealed that the documents used by Mr Gakinya to file the succession proceedings are not authentic and shall result in criminal proceedings.

“The DCI received a report of a forged will and other documents and the missing of Ms Lesoipa, facts which are criminal in nature,” read part of the affidavit by Mr Kiraithe.

The detectives have also confiscated a vehicle belonging to Ms Lesoipa from the lawyer.

Mr Gakinya, a former Nakuru county attorney is alleged to have been found in possession of the said vehicle Toyota Prado of registration of KBP 298 E which was being driven by Ms Lesoipa.

Police now claim the vehicle has been retained to be used as exhibit in a suspected case of forgery involving the inheritance of Ms Lesoipa’s 100 million estate property.

In the succession case number 40 of 2019, Mr Gakinya petitioned the court for grant of Letters of Administration of Ms Lesoipa’s estate worth at least Sh100 million.

He claimed the deceased who died of HIV/AIDS had named him the executor of her last Will that was written on November 15, 2018.

The said Will indicated that Ms Lesoipa owned cash in three accounts at KCB and another at international Luxembourg Suise in Belgium.

It named seven individuals as beneficiaries to the estate namely, Ramato Tilia Lenkiok Education, his mother Ntalie Lenolkiok, Elizabeth John Leramat Lebiite Education, her driver John wanjohi, Daniel Moen and Lucy Waithera Njuguna.

His investigations further revealed that the said deceased woman owned the motor vehicle and a house which Mr Gakinya had not indicated in her last will.

“Upon investigations, one Joseph Wanjohi, the driver to Ms Lesoipa and Ms Lucy Njuguna were named as beneficiaries to the estate. The two however gave contradicting information regarding the whereabouts of Ms Lesoipa,” noted Mr Kiraithe.

According to Mr Kareithi’s affidavit, Mr Wanjohi claimed he had driven Ms Merielle to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while Ms Waithera claimed she had died.

The Will listed Mr Gakinya and Ms Waithera as the ones to arrange for her burial upon her death within 24 hours by cremation.

Mr Gakinya, however, in his response has denied the claims of forgery and dismissed the informer whom he claims is unreliable.

Mr Gakinya noted that the informer had engaged in manoeuvres with expectations to get something from Ms Lesoipa’s estate.

“The said informer and his advisers have failed neglected and refused to file a proper application to challenge a will as provided by the law and only wishes to go on a fishing expedition without being clear on what they want to be investigated.

Police have since stepped up investigation to establish what befell Ms Lesoipa who is believed to have been killed.