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Mark Too: Mpango’s kids demanding share of Sh500 million, 19 farms, houses in Muthaiga, Lavington

The mpango’s kids of late billionaire Nginyo Kariuki are also demanding a piece of his Sh4 billion estate

Mr Fixed: The late Mark Too’s widows are fighting in court with children from his mpango wa kando. Up for grabs are Too’s interests in agribusiness, large scale agriculture, property and real estate. How the court ruling goes will see more women parading their children to lung for a piece of the action when a loaded Kenyan dies with or without a Will.

By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

@UndercoverKe

The late politician Mark Too had two wives and 11 children-four from mpango wa kando-and now crawling from the woodworks demanding their share of his multibillion shilling estate.

It is a scenario which is becoming familiar; kids from a mpango-who were previously ignored during inheritance cases- are demanding a piece of the bonanza. Before Mark Too, there was the late billionaire Nginyo Kariuki whose mpango’s kids went to court for a piece of his Sh4 billion estate.

How these two cases go will open or shut floodgates of law suits from side dishes and their brood demanding inheritance. Remember the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga and his mpango, porridge peddler, Agnes Wangui, who stopped his burial for a paternity test and inclusion in funeral plans? Her wishes were granted.

Sophia met Mark Too at a friend’s house while still a student at Kenya High School in 1981

This too, shall come to pass: Mark Too’s second wife, Sophia Jelimo (left), during the funeral in 2016. Mark Too was buried in her farm skirting the estranged first wife, Mary Jepkemboi. Too’s brothers, Clement and Nelson Too, also stated that their “family recognized Sophia as Mark Too’s second wife and had blessed their union.”

Mark Too’s story is even more complicated as his first estranged wife, Mary Jepkemboi is fighting the second wife, Sophia Jelimo in a case further entangled by the entry of Ali Mark Too. His petition at the Eldoret High Court states that the late Nominated MP married his mother, Asiya Said Ali, before the Kadhi’s court in Mombasa in the 1990s, but later separated. Ali Too is representing his four brothers, including a deceased one. Whether Too converted to Islam before the wedding is not clear.

Ali Too and his siblings are demanding their share of Too’s 19 farms, 10 trailers, 10 tractors,11 vehicles and shares in six companies. There are also multimillion shilling homes in Muthaiga, Lavington in Nairobi, Milimani, Nakuru and Elgon View, Uasin Gishu County besides  Sh500 million in various bank accounts. Mark Too succumbed to a heart attack in December 2016 at 60.

Mark Too began living separately with Mary after she squandered money meant for employees in 1995

Nyumba kubwa: Mark Too’s estranged first wife, Mary Jepkemboi’s two children acknowledged in their statements that Sophia was their mother’s co-wife.

But in a twist to the case, Mary states that Sophia was Too’s ‘mistress’ and only had a daughter with the MP out of wedlock and that her other two children are not biologically Mark Too’s and should be excluded from the estate. She also asked for a DNA test to ascertain their paternity.

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 In her response, Sophia’s states that she met Mark Too at a friend’s house while still a student at Kenya High School in 1981 before their wedding under Nandi customary law seven years later. Sophia adds that Mark Too began living separately with Mary after she squandered money meant for paying employees in 1995.

Kihara sued demanding that Kanyotu’s body be exhumed for DNA  tests

Not a penny more, not a penny less: The late spymaster James Kanyotu’s Sh20 billion Succession case saw Willy Kihara Njoki claiming to be his biological son-from a mpango. He wanted his share of inheritance alongside nine kids from Kanyotu’s three known wives. Kihara was paid Sh20 million but instructed to refund it after DNA tests from Kanyotu’s other kids proved Kihara was not his biological son! Kihara sued demanding that Kanyotu’s body be exhumed for DNA tests and throwing the Succession case in limbo.

Her petition includes documents indicating she was a co-director in most of Mark Too’s companies besides collecting monthly rent from his properties for the last 29 years. The hearing of the case has been slated for June 29 and 30.

Nginyo Kariuki’s inheritance dispute is also pending at the Milimani Commercial Courts. At stake is a Sh4 billion estate including rental income from Nginyo Towers on Koinange street, Nairobi.

Mpango filed photos, financial records and accounts of foreign travel spanning over 35 years

Sins of the father: Billionaire Nginyo Kariuki, father of six, died at 82 on February 24, 2020. Six months later, three children from his mpango wa kando, sued his wife, Margaret Wangari Nginyo, demanding a share of the billions- which Nginyo started making from selling manure in Kiambu County over 50 years ago. If shared equally, each beneficiary would take home Sh400 million.

The petition is led by lawyer Brenda Nyambura Kiragu and her twin brothers Alex Ndoria Karuri and Austin Wachira Karungo against Margaret and her six children. Last September, his mpango, Margaret Wanjiru, also filed a separate suit blocking Nginyo’s First Family from executing his will until the case is heard and determined.

Wanjiru said she met Nginyo in 1984 and bore him twins two years later. She has filed photos, financial records and accounts of foreign travel spanning over 35 years as proof of their marriage. One banking record shows Nginyo sent her Sh250, 000 in December 2019.

Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel and Nginyo Towers are not included in the will

This is the life: Nginyo Kariuki and his mpango., Margaret Wanjiru, sailing the Thames in England. Nginyo’s First Family do not dispute the existence of the ‘second family’. Just that they’re not to be treated as equals-igniting the current court case. Up for distribution is his 200 acre coffee farm (now 120 acres) in Redhill, Tigoni. Bought for Sh40, 000 in 1972, it would now cost the upwards of a billion if sold.

She claims Nginyo’s assets have been misrepresented as 55 houses in Gathima Estate, Lenana Mount Hotel and Nginyo Towers are not included in the will. Other income is from Nginyo’s flagship businesses; the Swiss Lenana Mount Hotel in Milimani, Nairobi and  ventures under Nginyo Investments Ltd with assets in excess of Sh200 million.

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Mark Too and Nginyo’s cases will set a precedent in the place of secret families in the life of a late, lamented and loaded Kenyan.

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