One of the four women left behind by slain businessman Jacob Juma is fighting to be given her fair share of his multimillion shilling estate.
The woman, known as Lydia Tabuke, says she and her two children have been excluded from the mode of distribution and list of beneficiaries of the estate by the widow, Miriam Wairimu, who was appointed as an administrator of Juma’s estate in 2017.
Jacob Juma was a controversial businessman and outspoken government critic. He died in a hail of bullets on May 5, 2016, in Nairobi, and was buried on May 14 in Mungore location, Bungoma county.
The property tussle by his family is among a string of high-profile cases that have been making headlines lately, including about the Koinanges, the Karumes, the Michukis and the JM Kariukis.
Juma’s brother Francis Shiundu filed a statement in court, confirming that Tabuke was also Juma’s wife.
In order to prove that she is entitled to some share, Tabuke wants the court to subject the children she had with Juma to a DNA test. She wants this conducted at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) and the samples necessary for conducting the tests be taken from Juma’s mother, Irene Adhiambo Juma. Once the results in regard to the paternity of her children with the late Juma are out, she wants the same forwarded to court by Kemri.
“In the event the DNA test establishes paternity, the administrators of the estate should be compelled to include the two children as beneficiaries of the estate,” reads part of her affidavit.
Tabuke says the DNA tests are necessary after the administrators of the estate, being Miriam Wairimu and Anne Githenya, excluded her children with the deceased from the mode of distribution and list of beneficiaries of the estate.
The administrators, according to Tabuke, have since disputed the two children being offspring of the deceased, the more reason why a DNA test is necessary to conclusively determine the paternity for purposes of succession in respect of the estate of Jacob Juma.
But in a swift rejoinder, Miriam says she does not object to the carrying out of the DNA test on Tabuke’s children to establish whether the deceased sired them.
“I am aware that given the circumstances under which the deceased died, samples of his DNA were collected under the instructions of the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and stored by the government chemist,” she says.
In her affidavit, Miriam says she has sought for confirmation from the government chemist on whether the said DNA samples are viable samples for purposes of carrying out the DNA tests requested by Tabuke. She requested the court to allow a period of 60 days for the confirmation sought from government chemist.
But in an affidavit dated September 2 this year, Tabuke says she is not aware of any DNA samples from the government chemist as alleged by Miriam.
“If at all any samples were taken from the deceased, I was not involved in the said process. The deceased’s mother Irene is agreeable to the DNA samples being taken from her,” she says.
The case, which has been going on since 2016, will now be mentioned in January next year to confirm the filing of the report. This is after the administrators told the court they are awaiting the report for the determination of Tabuke’s application seeking to carry out a DNA test.
Juma’s brother Shiundu claims he was present during Juma and Tabuke’s official traditional marriage ceremony, which was conducted in accordance with Luhya customary traditions at their home in Nabuto village, Mungore location, Bungoma county 2005.
“I know the deceased had two children with Tabuke. She was also present during my brother’s burial ceremony, where I introduced all the wives and children of my late brother to the community, guests and everyone present at the burial,” reads Shiundu’s statement.
He says during that time, it was agreed that Tabuke will represent the family in application for the administration of his late brother’s estate.
Tabuke, on the other hand, says when Juma died, she instructed her advocates to petition for letters of administration unheard on her behalf. However, after conducting due diligence, they found that Miriam Wairimu and Anne Githenya, through their advocates, had already begun the process of petitioning for grant of letters of administration.
“Upon perusal of the court files, we became aware that the two attached a schedule of the mode of distribution of the estate in which myself, Juma’s two other wives and their children had not been included as surviving the deceased’s estate nor acquiring any shares from the estate, despite being beneficiaries of the estate,” Tabuke says.
Tabuke has since urged the court not to confirm the grant until all parties involved have been included in the list of beneficiaries and the mode of distribution is reviewed to include all beneficiaries of the estate and the protest filed before court be allowed.
But Miriam and Ann claim that a grant of letters of administration ‘unheard’ was issued to them on May 30, 2017. Miriam claims the identification and shares of all persons beneficially entitled to Juma’s estate have been ascertained.
WEALTH AT STAKE
She says it was determined that she was entitled to shares in Airways Holdings Limited, Juma Construction Company Limited, Pwani Mining Limited, Sakir Properties Limited, Erad Supplies and General Contractors Limited, Jack Projects Limited, Cortec Mining Limited, Sakir Properties Limited, Pacific Wildcats Resources Corporation, four vehicles and land in Kyuna, among others.
Miriam confirms that Juma was the owner of Sh8.33 million shares in Pacific Wildcat Resources Corporation, two shares in Airways Holdings Limited, title No. Bungoma township/215, motor vehicle registration number KAM 980F and KAL 007W, one share in Jack Projects Limited, three shares in Park Health Centre Limited, 800 shares in Nectel (K) Limited, 900 shares in Pwani Mining Limited.
But in April last year, Tabuke filed an affidavit in protest to the confirmation of grant to the administrators and mode of distribution of the estate.
Tabuke claimed she is a widow of the late Juma and had the consent of one Pamela Lobulu and Wahida Yuna, who are also widows to the deceased, to act on their behalf and their children.
“Juma was survived by myself, Pamela, Wahida, Miriam Wairimu, his mother Irene Adhiambo Juma and six children, who are minors,” reads the court documents.
“All persons dependent on the deceased and beneficially entitled to the estate of the deceased should be disclosed to the court in taking out a grant of letters of administration.”
Tabuke argued that Wahida, Pamela and their children with the deceased and all persons surviving the deceased’s estate are entitled to benefit from the estate of the deceased.
“The action by Miriam to exclude me, Wahida, Pamela and their children as beneficiaries of the late Juma is unjust as they are entitled to a share of the property of the deceased estate,” she says.
“We, including the deceased’s mother, Irene Adhiambo, were all dependent on the deceased prior to his death, hence would like to be accorded reasonable provision from his estate.”
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