October 26, 2014

Kenyan woman seeks to block kin from Sh3 billion assets

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button print grnw20 Kenyan woman seeks to block kin from Sh3 billion assets

A lawyer’s wife has gone to court seeking to stop her sons and daughters from controlling a Sh3 billion family fortune.

She accused them of beating their father and scalding him with hot water.

This came after a battle for control of the estate erupted in the family of ailing lawyer Samuel Kanogo Ritho, who is in London for treatment.

Mr Ritho’s wife, Gladys Ruhunga, has sued her children seeking to stop them from controlling the estate.

Mrs Ritho obtained an interim order stopping Geoffrey Avugwi, James John Kanogo, Margaret Mung’asia and Jane Nyambura – the siblings – from dealing with the properties.

The properties worth about Sh3 billion generate a monthly rental income of Sh5 million, a “conservative” estimate, according to the lawyer’s wife.

Sons Geoffrey and James are surgeons. Geoffrey lives and works in Spain, while James lives in London, so does daughter Jane, who is a US-trained pharmacist.

Their mother, who is in Kenya, claims that her husband lacks free will due to a stroke and brain complications.

She says that she discovered that the children had been beating, and whipping their father to force him to sign blank transfer documents. When she protested, she was allegedly assaulted and denied upkeep money.

The father finally transferred legal powers over the family property to Geoffrey, his fifth born son, Mrs Ritho claims.

The properties include more than 35 prime real estate properties in London, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Murang’a.

The Nairobi properties include rental flats in Eastleigh and four five-bedroom bungalows in Golf Course, Kileleshwa and Loresho, and prime beach plots in Kilifi and Malindi. In London they own a flat and a building housing a dental clinic.

Mrs Ritho says the children had taken over the properties and misappropriated at least Sh200 million.

She wants to be declared the sole next of kin of her husband as her children were all adults.

Mr Ritho is the founder of S.K. Ritho & Company Advocates, where he practised law until 2009 when he suffered a stroke.

The case will be heard on May 21.-Daily Nation