Wakapee family in a fierce war for control of wealth
When President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday last week led thousands of mourners in bidding farewell to the late Juja MP Francis Waititu, popularly known as Wakapee, speeches by his widow and children projected a united family.
The President, like other mourners, eulogised Wakapee as a peaceful, generous and hardworking lawmaker and a responsible family man.
But behind the facade of calm during the funeral service was a vicious war between the children of Wakapee’s deceased wife on one side and his widow Susan Munyua and her children on the other.
The war, which is now the subject of a potentially embarrassing lawsuit before the High Court’s family division, is about control of Wakapee’s wealth.
“Our step-mother Susan and her offspring have taken it upon themselves the responsibility to assume the sole administration of our late father’s estate, which we urge the court to stop with immediate effect,” an affidavit by one of Wakapee’s sons, Michael Munyua says.
At the centre of the controversy is Wakapee’s vast empire worth an estimated Sh300 million, comprising his Juja home and land valued at Sh70 million, several rental houses in Juja, Ruiru and Thika towns and shares in a number of blue chip companies.
The fierce war escalated immediately after his burial when his widow and her stepson Michael vowed to face each other in the upcoming by-election. Michael has since dropped out of the race.
In the case which had been scheduled to start last Friday but was postponed, Michael and his sister Terry Njeri, have sued Susan, her son Martin Munyua, daughter Christine Njeri and Dinah Wanja who they accuse of denying Wakapee proper healthcare, wasting family property, extortion and embezzlement of the Constituency Development Funds through “irregular and illegal” dealings.
Michael and his sister sought to have the respondents denied control of the estate, which they say is being looted by the respondents who have listed themselves as joint managers.
“Your humble petitioners therefore pray for a declaration that Terry Njeri Munyua and Michael Munyua Waititu be appointed as the joint legal guardians of Hon Francis Munyua Waititu and joint managers of his estate,” they asked the court in a suit dated December 10, 2020, and whose cost they want borne by the estate of their father.
For instance, they claimed that the respondents took advantage of Wakapee’s sickness to illegally dispose of his property such as land and cars, jewellery, suits and even spectacles, which they claim to have either been sold or shared amongst themselves and other family members.
The two also claim that their step brother, Martin, who is Susan’s first born, had been handling all CDF and political affairs in Juja constituency on behalf of their father who was then indisposed.
“Martin would even attend Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) planning meetings at the Kiambu’s County Commissioner’s office on behalf of our late father,” they state in the affidavit.
Michael and his sister also claim that several critical documents related to the late MP’s estate have mysteriously disappeared.
The MP, who had worked as manager in a number of coffee estates in Kiambu, and earned the nickname “Wakapee ” owing to his generosity in clearing beer bills, married Susan in 1988 following the death of his first wife, who was Michael’s mother.