Desperate Moi grandchildren beg for money
As the family of former President Moi marked his fourth memorial at his Kabarak home on Sunday, there was little to betray the simmering disputes playing out in various courts over his multi-billion-shilling empire.
At the anniversary, the family, led by former Baringo Senator Gideon Moi put up a united front as they reminisced over the life and times of Kenya’s second and longest serving President.
But away from the public glare, lawyers were trooping to the courts to seek various orders relating to the late president’s vast wealth.
In the latest case, lawyers representing one of the widows of Moi’s first-born son, Jonathan Toroitich, were in court to seek orders for the release of Sh2.5 million by the administrator’s of the late president’s estate to go towards footing the medical bills for one of his grandsons.
One of Jonathan’s widows, Milkah Faith Moi, wants the court to order the administrators of the Moi estate to release the funds to enable her youngest son to undergo an urgent surgery in the United States on February 16 pending the resolution of an ongoing inheritance case.
Milkah states that her 14-year-old son was diagnosed with a cyst on his left upper jaw two years ago necessitating an operation.
She says the minor had his first surgery in December 2021 and for the past two years been undergoing several clinical tests and procedures to help suppress the growth. However, she says the area has developed four more cysts with doctors recommending urgent surgery.
“We have filed an application in court seeking that they just release Sh2.5 million which is required by the hospital for this boy’s medication,” Milkah stated through her lawyer Duncan Okatch.
Milkah says she has been unable to raise funds for the surgery which was due on January 4 and has now been rescheduled for February 16.
“The surgery was scheduled for January 4, 2024 but due to financial constraints, it was rescheduled to enable the family to raise the funds,” Milkah states.
Milkah is also in court over the division of the family’s estate which, she states, has rendered her unable to cater for her son’s surgery and that of his siblings’ school fees.
She claims that her efforts to seek intervention and assistance from Jonathan’s first wife, Sylvia, and her son, Clint Kiprono, to cater for the minor’s upkeep have been in vain.
She argues that the minors in question were recognized as the beneficiaries of the estate as far as November 26, 2019.
Her lawyer said that she had been forced to create a Paybill account to help her raise funds.
“It is sad that the youngest grandson of Moi has been turned into a beggar, since he is begging all Kenyans of goodwill to assist him,” Okatch stated.
“There is a paybill number 8056879 and Account is Gift Moi. We plead to all Kenyans of goodwill to help him raise medical funds of Sh2.5 million. The former president mentored so many people into leadership. Let us help this young boy who is currently admitted in hospital to get medication,” he said.
Beside the matter of the medical bill, Milkah is also in court, seeking to have the administrators of the Moi estate to release Sh2.7 million to cater for the education of her other daughter, identified in court papers as AM.
“The applicant is a student at an international school and has been disallowed to continue attending classes because of lack of school fees. The applicant is languishing in distress despite the estate of the deceased being able to cater for her fees,” the granddaughter says in an affidavit.
She claims that despite being a beneficiary of the estate of the late Jonathan, all attempts to make Sylvia and Clint, who are the administrators of the estate support her, have been futile.
Jonathan’s daughter is seeking Sh2.75 million to offset an already accrued fee balance at the international school.
“I am forced to sit at the reception desk at school as my classmates continue to learn. I am a top performer but constantly missing classes has affected me significantly,” she stated.
Jonathan’s widows and his son Collins Moi have over time been involved in a simmering row over the wealth left behind by the former rally driver.
The inheritance of Jonathan estate took a messy turn in November 2019 after Milkah and Beatrice Kipkemboi – both claiming to be his widows – sued Sylvia Toroitich, demanding to have equal rights to his estate.
According to Milkah, she got married to Jonathan in 2008 under Agikuyu customary laws. Together, they have three children.
Jonathan died on April 19, 2019. At the time of his death, he had not written a will. He, however, left behind three widows, Sylvia, Beatrice Mbuli and Milkah.
The battles amongst the Moi’s mirror the disputes that have rocked families of other prominent and wealthy Kenyans following their passing on, including President Mwai Kibaki, former spy chief James Kanyotu, former Cabinet ministers Simeon Nyachae, Joseph Kamotho and Njenga Karume and former assistant minister Gerishom Kirima.
With a successful political career and thriving business ventures, Moi amassed great wealth, with his family ranked among the richest in Kenya.
By the time he died in early 2020, Moi had accumulated a colossal fortune valued at over Sh340 billion in property, cash and company shares.
A bitter succession battle over his multi billion-shilling estate and sibling rivalry are just some of the struggles the family is grappling with.
When he was alive, Moi kept his family together and even made plans for a smooth sharing of his estate upon his demise. He drafted a will to guide the distribution of his wealth among his eight children.
According to the written will filed in the Milimani family court in Nairobi, Moi left behind a 931-hectare parcel of land that was to be distributed among his five sons: Jonathan, Gideon Moi, Raymond Moi, Philip Moi and John Mark Moi.
He gave clear orders to his trustees at Kabarak University to share the ancestral land equally among his sons, who would later transfer their parcels to their children. Moi had, however, excluded the 19.7- acre Muthaiga land, registered as LR no. 12422/19 from his will dated November 15, 2015.
Moi also gave Sh100 million to each of his three daughters: Jennifer Chemutai, June Chebet and Doris Chekorir.
The former President had appointed lawyer Zehrabanu Janmohamed as the executer and trustee of the will. The court, on October 9, 2020, gave her the authority to manage and distribute the properties, having been given the grant of probate of the written will.
The execution of the will has, however, been derailed by infighting among family members and former allies who contested some of the properties listed in the will.