Sons turn against their aging parents in row over city properties
A group of elderly men have gone to court challenging their children’s decision to dispose of their multi-million shilling investments.
Trading under Muguga Investment Company Ltd, they have sued their sons in a case which is turning out to be a battle over breach of trust and dishonesty among families.
Upon hearing the case filed under a certificate of urgency, Mr Justice Francis Gikonyo stopped the sons and Nuni Trading Ltd from taking over the properties, interfering with their occupancy or demolishing them until the dispute is heard and determined.
“The orders restraining the respondents from transferring, demolishing, leasing, changing or otherwise disposing any of the applicants’ assets will remain in force until the matter is concluded,” ruled Judge Gikonyo.
Mr David Njane Ruiyi swore an affidavit to support the application, saying the group had learnt with shock that their sons wanted to dispose of some properties without their consent.
According to Mr Ruiyi, they came together as 34 families in May 1974, and formed Muguga Investment Company Limited.
Among the properties they acquired are 750 acres in Lanet, 318 acres in Elementaita, residential houses in Nairobi South ‘B’, Embakasi and Kikuyu Town, and a commercial five-storey building at Eastleigh valued at Sh500 million.
As they aged, they passed the company’s leadership on to their sons, who were elected as directors.
They, however, retained the shareholding, and only mandated the sons to manage the company on behalf of the beneficiaries.
All was well until last November when the seven directors allegedly short-changed the shareholders and other beneficiaries by leasing the commercial building in Eastleigh to Nuni General Trading Limited for 25 years.
According to the lease, Nuni was given the power to demolish the building and construct another and that Muguga Ltd would receive Sh24 million and another Sh15 million after the completion of the new building.
“Alarmed by the conduct of the directors, we held a special general meeting of all the beneficiaries in December and resolved to remove them from the company. They, however, refused to hand over the titles and are in the process of disposing of other assets,” said Mr Ruiyi.
He said that while they were waiting for the directors to hand back the company titles, they secretly filed a return with the registrar of companies, showing that Mr Mohamed Abdi and Mr Swale Mohamed (directors of Nuni Trading) had been allocated 100 shares in Muguga Company Ltd.
He accused the directors of colluding with some officials in City Hall to obtain an approval to demolish the building and construct another.
Those sued are Mr Nicholas Kabucho, Mr Joe Gathu Kimemia, Mr Joseph Karanja, Mr Paul Kinuthia, Mr Francis Kagwe, Mr Erastus Gathage, Mr David Muroki, and Nuni General Trading Ltd.
Mr Justice Gikonyo directed that the matter be heard inter-parte on April 22.