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Chris Kirubi’s Sh20 billion Will: Ex-wife got zero, mpango’s daughter given Sh1.8 billion!

Kirubi’s brothers and sisters each got half a billion shillings but his mpango in Dubai got nothing!

Life is a Lottery: The late business mogul Chris Kirubi left Sh18 billion to his children, Robert and Mary-Anne Kirubi. Unlike other children of Kenyan billionaires fighting over inheritance in court, they ceded Sh1.8 billion to their step-sister, Fiona Wambui Kirubi who had only been gifted Sh4 million in Kirubi’s Will.
Why do men leave nothing to their ex-wives? Is it hatred or fear they would remarry and squander inheritance with boy toys? Well, in the case of ambassador Peter Mburu Echaria, he left nothing not only to his wife, Priscilla Njeri Echaria, but also his children “for siding with their mother.” The children, including Echaria’s only son, have since challenged the Will in court.

By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

The contents of the late business magnate Chris Kirubi’s Sh20 billion Will, can now be revealed: His ex-wife and mother of his two children got nothing. The two were only married long enough to have two children. But his daughter from his mpango wa kando, walked away with Sh1.8 billion. But the mpango, like the ex-wife, also got nothing. Kirubi’s brothers and sisters, on the other hand, each got half a billion shillings!

The broom of Kirubi’s estate sweeps across large-scale agriculture, real estate, healthcare, finance, insurance, manufacturing, logistics, media, IT, property, shares in private companies valued at Sh12 billion. His holding in firms listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) are worth Sh3.4 billion and land in Nairobi’s Loresho area where he lived, worth the same amount. Listed as part of his wealth are six high end rides, four of them the Mercedes brand, valued at over Sh100 million.  

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Creature comforts: Part of Kirubi’s Will include six cars: Mercedes Benz Maybach S500 (Sh30 million), Bentley Continental GT (Sh29 million), Range Rover (Sh26 million), Mercedes Benz (Sh16 million), Mercedes Benz ML 320 CDI (Sh5 million) and Mercedes CLS 350 valued at Sh3 million.

 From that bonanza, his two children Mary-Anne and prodigal son Robert Kirubi got Sh18 billion or 80 percent of his wealth. Kirubi’s four siblings including the well-known Prof Michael Kirubi whom Kirubi educated to PhD level, got Sh2 billion or 20 percent of the pie “to be shared equally,” reads the Will filed in court in October last year, five months after his death from cancer at 74. That means each sibling will pocket Sh500 million each!

The tearful tribute Fiona Kirubi gave her father was such that Mary-Anne promised the family would take care of her. She kept her word: “Robert and Mary-Anne agree to relinquish a total of 9.95 % of the 80 % of the estate equally to Fiona Wambui Kirubi,” reads part of the Will. Fiona’s inheritance comes to Sh1.8 billion plus the Sh4 million bringing the tiakif you do the math.

Mary-Anne probably did not want the Kirubi family to be dragged in endless inheritance dispute. Like the one pitting the Popat family, the billionaire owners of Simba Colt Motors, 20th Century Plaza and the upscale hotel, Vila Rosa Kempinki in Nairobi. Patriarch Abdul Karim Popat so hated his eldest son, Alnashir Popat, he left him out of his Will. Alnashir has since sued his siblings and the court ruled in his favour!

Life, most times, revolves around luck which we don’t give the credit it deserves

Tough cookie: The late Dr Njoroge Mungai, the personal physician of founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta inspecting a guard of honour mounted by the Britannia Royal Naval College when he was Kenya’s Minister for Defense in 1967. Like Kirubi, the man who introduced private clinics in the country, left nothing from his multibillion shilling estate to his ex-wife and mother of their six children. His wealth includes Magana Flower farm in Kikuyu town.
In his five-page Will filed at the High Court, Dr Mungai decreed: “I declare that my ex-wife, Njeri Mungai from whom am divorced shall not possess or occupy any of my properties or facilities or receive any part of my residuary estate as I am of the belief that she has already been adequately provided for in the divorce settlement.” Dr Mungai, after whom Magana town is named, died at 88 in 2014.

Indeed, life, most times, revolves around luck which we don’t give the credit it deserves: When Kirubi impregnated his mpango in Dubai, he bequeathed Fiona Sh4 million “as a gift” reads the Will. That was in 1996 when he amended the Will written 16 years earlier to include Fiona.

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But from Sh4 million, Fiona now sits pretty atop a Sh1.8 billion inheritance that includes shares in International House, Centum Investments, commercial papers in Two Rivers Mall, and land in Muthaiga, Mtwapa, Diani beach, Vipingo Ridge and Murang’a County. There is also the 500-acre Bendor Estate worth 5 billion where Kirubi ran Kenya’s largest banana plantation.

As is the case with the wealthy, Chris Kirubi’s accounts held Sh27 million in cash only.

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