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The Minister’s Daughter: I want my Sh 1 billion inheritance now- Wanja Michuki

Daughter of the late John Michuki is also demanding Sh 300, 000 in monthly stipend ‘to make ends meet’

Wolf of Windsor: Wanja Michuki studied economics and finance and claims her siblings are mismanaging her late father’s estate and wants her share now. And as the court case continues, Wanja, who once revealed having no desires of having children of her own, is demanding Sh300, 000 in monthly stipend for “beneficiaries of the estate who are not earning any salary” and this would go a long way “for each beneficiary to make ends meet and facilitate individual pursuits.”   

By Pascal MJ Owade

Contributing Editor/Investigations

Yvonne Wanja Michuki, the last born daughter of the late Cabinet Minister John Michuki, is still seeking inheritance to the tune of Sh1 billion through the courts.

The estate of Michuki, who gifted her a house worth millions at Windsor Park, claims in court documents that her siblings have kept her in the dark regarding affairs of the vast estate left by her father, best remembered as a tough, ruthless Minister in the Interior and Transport dockets.

Wanja wants the assets liquidated, debts settled and the remainder divided among six siblings with her getting a sixth of the spoils besides transferring the title deed of her villa at Windsor Park Phase I.

Michuki also owned Cargen House in Nairobi and shares in Gateway Insurance

The Big Short: Anne Mutahi, Michuki’s eldest child says in her affidavit that ‘Wanja’s allegation that she is financially exploited by her siblings is illusionary, intended to not only tarnish our names but also mislead the court.’

The Michuki estate is worth in the northwards of over Sh10 billion-give or take liabilities-which have been escalating since ‘Miss Rona’ came calling in March. The pandemic hit hard on the hospitality industry where the Michukis have their flagship business.

Michuki’s fortune comprised investments in real estate and property, vast parcels of prime land, energy, agriculture and insurance. The crown jewel is the Windsor Golf Hotel & Country Club that sits on a 500 acres in Kiambu County. Michuki controlled 76 percent of Windsor through Fairview Investments Ltd. The other 24 percent was owned by Windsor Group. Michuki also owned Cargen House in Nairobi and shares in Gateway Insurance via Fairview Investments, according to court documents.

Michuki entrusted 50 percent of his estate to his wife-now deceased-and 50 percent to his six children

Room with a view: The late Michuki gifted Wanja a house at Windsor Park above. She claims that, since her father died in February 2012, she had not been furnished with how money collected as service charge from Windsor Park Phase I, is spent. Windsor Park Phase I, set on 14 acres, has 40 villas. Rent is in the upwards of Sh600, 000. Monthly service charge pegged at Sh60, 000 which comes to over Sh2 million every month or Sh24 million annually.

Wanja majored in economics at the prestigious Bryn Mawr, an American girls-only college whose alumnus include American actress Katherine Hepburn and billionaire candy heiress Jacqueline Mars before proceeding to Columbia University for her MBA in Finance.

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The Descendants: Michuki entrusted his estate to his wife Josephine Watiri (above) and close friend Kenneth Matiba. Both are now deceased. Michuki gave his two trustees powers to invest freely but his wife was entitled to 50 per cent of his estate and the rest to his six children: Anne Mutahi (wife of Health CS Mutahi Kagwe), Fred Chege, Martin Michuki, Francis Murai (who runs Windsor Hotel), Sheila Muriugi and Wanja Michuki. But alas! Josephine died shortly after her hubby and before updating her will-which has further complicated the inheritance tiff.

It was in America where she ran her own Highlands Tea Company for five years to 2008 before returning to Kenya and working as a diplomat in the Trade Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2014.

Wanja lists her father’s other interests as shared held in the following entities: Heri Ltd which has built homes in Kitisuru and Kikuyu, Silver Homes Ltd, Mika Estate, Windsor Tours and Travel Ltd, Kangema Farmlands Ltd, Agricultural Holdings Ltd, Coot Holdings Ltd, Snipe Investments Ltd and Leading Edge Food and Entertainment Ltd.

Wanja lists 14 parcels of land in Murang’a and three in Kwale Counties

Margin Call: The late Cabinet Minister John Michuki wished that his children share 50 percent of his wealth in case his wife survived him. She died six months after him in 2012.

Michuki’s portfolio also includes Nairobi Golf Hotels, Ndarugu Plantations, Kanyenyaini Tea Factory in Muranga,  Kangema Petro Station and New Kenshoes Company.

Wanja blames her two siblings given powers by the High Court to administer the estate for huge debts accrued by Nairobi Hotels Limited that owns a bigger share of the plush Windsor Golf Hotels & Country Club. Wanja fears that the debts have reached an alarming rate, and wants the court to order that they be settled.

Wanja fears that the debts have reached an alarming rate, and wants the court to order that they be settled

Stoned fortunes: Michuki bought Cargen House from Car & General hence the name. Besides Cargen House, Wanja lists her dad’s estate as including; 14 parcels of land in Murang’a County and three in Kwale County besides Sh17.1 million in two accounts at KCB – Kangema and Nairobi branches. Michuki was also owed Sh3 million Pay as You Earn refund by KRA which had accrued during his time as MP.

She claims her sister Anne Mutahi and brother Fred Chege had ignored the management, including requests to mitigate the debts.

According to court documents, Wanja has on various occasions verbally and in writing decried the situation, and even proposed how to pay the debts, including liquidation of some of the assets.

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Wanja, a certified financial analyst, writer and wealth management consultant, states that her late father’s estate has not been valued to date, adding that the administrators and beneficiaries cannot work together anymore.

I don’t have nightmares about it. I slayed that monster of shame

Crown jewel: The cream of inheritance is the Windsor Golf & Country Club which boasts the largest golf course in Africa besides also being one of the priciest to join.

Wanja, who is in her 40s once admitted during an Engage Talk session in 2017 of having been sexually abused by a guard when she was four and partially explains why she shunned getting children of her own.

She explained: “Quite a number of women I know who have gone through abuse don’t have children and it could be. I wouldn’t rule that out. Look, I think I have handled that part of my life, it has come with lessons which have informed who I am now. All of it is a part of me and I am a part of it. I don’t have nightmares about it. I slayed that monster of shame.”

The Michukis are not the only family in Kenya’s one percent fighting out in court over inheritance. Other billionaire families feuding in court include politicians; Njenga Karume, Gerishon Kirima and Mbiyu Koinange whose 30 year run over his  Sh10 billion estate was recently solved in court.

There is also former spymaster James Kanyotu and hoteliers Stephen Kung’u (Kunste Hotel), John Kagema (Enashipai Resort), James Mwangi ‘Kahama’ K1 Club House) and Abdul Karim Popat (Villa Rosa Kempinski).

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