7 Siblings in Fight for Late Mother's Ksh18 Million Estate

Ezra Manyibe | 2 weeks ago

Kenya's corridors of justice are filled with cases of siblings going at each other over control of their deceased parents' wealth. The case of Lusila Wairu Waweru took the same path after her seven children moved to court over the control of her Ksh18 million estate.

Having passed away on October 15, 2015, Lusila left behind a will dated August 25, 2013, which instructed how her wealth would be managed and distributed among her children, youngest 60 and eldest 74.

The document also indicated that the will would be executed by her daughter Agusta Rwamba and son Joakim Ireri. The Ksh18 estate, comprises of land and other commercial properties including a nightclub in Mtwapa.

File image of the Malindi Law Courts. |Photo| Courtesy|

According to a report by the Nation, the succession wrangles kicked in when one of the daughters, Margaret Thumbi Kona who had been excluded from the will moved to court to challenge the validity of the document with the help of Emmanuel Nyota and Wilbert Njuki.

The trio moved to court in September 2016 challenging details of the will arguing on grounds that their mother was not in the right state of mind to draft the document. They claimed that at the time the document was allegedly drafted, their mother was suffering from senile dementia and could not have written the will.

"The will is invalid on the basis that the testator did not clearly understand her actions such that she could not recollect all her assets," the trio said through SB Otieno and Company Advocates.

To argue their case, the three revealed that some assets were wrongfully included in the will while others were left off of it. They further noted that it was nit customary for some of the beneficiaries to be left off the document.

Mr Nyota revealed that before their mother died, she had subdivided part of the land included in the will and sold it to him. This was confirmed by the High Court in Malindi.

The trio further claimed that one of the signatures on the document differed from their mother's known signature. They further argued that their mother only understood Kikuyu and a little Swahili and therefore would not comprehend details of a will drafted in English.

In response to the petition, Mrs Rwamba and Mr Ireri claimed that the three had a strained relationship with their mother at her time of death, hence why they were entrusted with the will. Mrs Rwamba stated that their mother had called for a meeting which excluded Mrs Thumbi, at which she directed that all legal documents be kept by Mrs Rwamba.

Mr Ireri and Mrs Rwamba claimed that the document was prepared in the presence of a lawyer and its validity was sustained by Justice Reuben Nyakundi. The judge had, however, on October 25, 2020, directed that the estate be shared equally among beneficiaries.

Despite a probate letter directing the distribution of the estate, the property is yet to be shared among beneficiaries four years later. Mr Nyota, Mr Njuki, and Mrs Thumbi are accusing their sister, Mrs Rwamba of frustrating them as beneficiaries to the estate.

The further accused her of proceeding to reconstruct the club in Mtwapa regardles of court orders and solely continuing to benefit from rental income from the club and other properties. Mrs Rwamba is alleged to have spent Ksh21.2 million on renovations and questionable medical expenses for their late mother.

She on the other hand argues that settling the succession matter has not been easy owing to the numerous cases filed by her brothers and sister. 

In 2023, Mr Nyota moved to the High Court in Malindi in the company of three other siblings requesting the removal of Mrs Rwamba as administrator of the estate but were directed by Justice Mugure Thande to settle the matter out of court.