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Taste of money: Inside Chris Kirubi’s Sh30 billion inheritance to his children

Fiona Farha Kirubi, his mpango wa kando’s daughter from Dubai, won’t be forgotten

The real Kahuna: The late businessman Christ Kirubi’s bread, baked over five decades, might also include Fiona Farha Kirubi, his mpango wa kando’s daughter from Dubai-although she mouthed disinterest in the inheritance that sweeps across manufacturing, finance, media, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, real estate, large-scale agriculture, energy, education and publishing.

By Shifa Mwihaki

Feature writer/Essayist

The easiest way to wealth is via inheritance-you gladly receive. And the two children of the late billionaire industrialist Chris Kirubi are in for a dizzying financial bonanza. 

Kirubi once said “my major talent is making money…. I don’t know how to do anything else” and children Mary-Ann Musangi and Robert Kirubi will have at their disposal inheritance sweeping across consumer products, media, financial services, technology, agriculture, real estate, prime property, land and listed equities valued at Sh30 billion, according to Forbes Africa.

Kirubi once termed Smart Applications International as ‘my favourite investment decision ever’ 

Divide by three: The Kikuyu wife Kirubi divorced over four decades ago was missing in action during Kirubi’s funeral (above). That left Robert Kirubi (Left) Fiona Kirubi and Mary-Ann Musangi as sure frontrunners for inheritance that also includes forays in insurance, logistics, property management, agro-chemicals, pharmaceuticals and the 600-acre Bendo Farm in Thika where ‘Lake Kirubi’ sits pretty surrounded by coffee and a 200 acre banana plantation, Kenya’s largest.

Add too, Smart Applications International-through which 90 percent of Kenyans pay for their medical insurance via biometric recognition which is also used by companies for employee access to premises and subsidized meals at the cafeteria.

Other clients include insurance and security companies, financial service providers and governments and with footprints in Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and South Africa, you can now understand why Kirubi once termed Smart Applications International as “my favourite investment decision ever.” 

With the wife out of the picture, the family of daughter Mary-Ann appears to be the fulcrum around which the inheritance will rotate.

Businesses up for inheritance includes stakes in DHL, Bayer East Africa and Haco Industries

The grave is a lonely place: During Kirubi’s funeral, daughter Mary-Ann promised mourners that there would be no fighting over her rich daddy’s portfolio of wealth that when pegged to real names includes International House Ltd which manages International House besides other residential and commercial premises including Shanzu Gardens in Kyuna comprising 20 town houses with a club house and entertainment area, swimming pool and a children’s playground. Add too the nine Avocado Villas off Brookside Grove and 17 others at Riverside Court on Riverside Drive which have similar facilities.

Already, Mary-Ann’s hubby, well-connected lawyer Andrew Musangi, was recently named on the board of Centum Investments-where Kirubi was the majority shareholder on the back of his Sh3 billion stake. Musangi, one of the top 10 shareholders at Sameer Africa, was also Kirubi’s lawyer in several business deals and cases.

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The businesses up for inheritance also includes stakes in DHL, Bayer East Africa and Haco Industries whose products are distributed in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti. There is also Capital FM, once the most profitable radio station in Kenya for its ad revenue.  

Robert was rarely involved in his father’s ventures. After leaving Hillcrest School, Nairobi and Canada’s Northeastern University for his undergraduate in science, he decided to hole up in Belgium where he is DHL’s Vice President of Operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, leaving his sister to run the show.

Musangi is also well connected from his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta

Son of fortune: Lawyer Andrew Musangi, Chris Kirubi’s son in-law was recently appointed to the board of Centum Investments where Kirubi was the majority shareholder. It is the first move in the realignment of family fortunes. Consider that through Centum, Kirubi had interests in real estate, energy, education, fund management, auto motives, business solutions, manufacturing, publishing, export agriculture and healthcare.
We are here talking about Two Rivers, Kenya’s largest shopping mall, Vipingo Ridges, Longhorn Publishers, Isuzu East Africa, Amu Power, Nabo Capital and Sabis International Schools in Runda Nairobi with expansion plans to Uganda, Tanzania and Egypt.
In his own right, Musangi is also well connected from his appointment by President Uhuru Kenyatta to chair the Jubilee Party National Elections Board in 2018.

Just why, by the time Kirubi was diagnosed with cancer in late 2019, he had already began roping in his daughter into his business orbit. Mary-Ann had sudden ascents into the boards of Sidian bank (majority owned by Centum), Haco, International House Ltd and UAP Insurance before he sold his Sh3.8 billion stake to Old Mutual.

Indeed, Kenyans will continue making Kirubi’s children very rich considering if you buy aspirin; it’s manufactured by Bayer East Africa where he has a 45 percent stake.

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