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Battle for Fidel’s riches jolts Raila family



The legal fight for the control of the estate of Fidel Odinga, the son of Orange Democratic Leader Raila Odinga began in the High Court in Nairobi with a consent by his mother and widow to conduct paternity tests on twins born by a different woman.

The twins, born months after Fidel’s death in January 2015, are at the centre of the property battle in which his mother Ida Odinga and sister Winnie are seeking rights of administration over his estate. The rights had been granted to his widow Lwam Getachew Bekele in January, but the Odingas claim this disadvantages the twins, among other issues.

The family has accused Ms Bekele of sidelining the twins, but the widow argues that the birth certificates attached by Mrs Odinga and her daughter do not tell who the father of the twins is. She also says the twins were born six months after the death of her husband.

At the mention of the case yesterday, lawyers Roger Sagana and Victor Olao for Ms Bekele and Mrs Odinga respectively, told Justice Aggrey Muchelule that the test would expedite and resolve the matter.

“My client is saying that she will include the twins as beneficiaries of the estate, if the test proves that they were sired by the deceased (Fidel),” Mr Sagana said.

Neither Mrs Odinga nor Ms Bekele was in court. Their lawyers complained about what they termed negative publicity generated by the media coverage of the matter.

READ ALSO:   Fidel Odinga’s widow, Lwam Bekelle reveals heated communication with Ida

“The media should be barred from covering this case because it is intrusive to privacy,” Mr Olao submitted.

Mr Sagana said he had no problem with the matter being covered although he supported the proposal.

The judge, however, said the matter had been brought to an open court and the only thing that would worry him, was if the names of the minors were mentioned. The judge added that the dispute revolved around paternity and not property.

The court adjourned the matter to next month after the parties signed the consent. Justice Muchelule also left it to the family to decide where to conduct the tests.

In the dispute, Mr Odinga’s two other children — Rose and Raila Junior — have signed on as sureties in the event that their mother and sister mismanage the estate.

Rose and Raila Junior are standing in for Sh30 million, which is the estimated value of Fidel’s estate after payment of liabilities.

The two have also accused Ms Bekele of withdrawing her son from formal schooling and denying them access to the child.

In reply, Ms Bekele said she has no problem including them as beneficiaries of her husband’s estate if they turn out to be Fidel’s children.

Fidel, who died in January 2015 without leaving a will, had acquired several properties among them a house in Karen’s Tipuana Park, two pieces of land in Kisumu, a parcel of land in Kajiado, shares in Axum Investments Limited and Ambesa Investments Limited, and four vehicles.

READ ALSO:   Rosemary Odinga sues PA for stealing Sh245,000 from her account

Fidel also had seven bank accounts. The only liability revealed in the filings are debts to a credit card issued by Stanbic Bank’s Chiromo branch in Nairobi.

In refuting claims by the Odinga family that she excluded several properties from an inventory of assets her late husband owns, Ms Bekele alleged that her strained relationship with her mother-in-law was the real cause of the succession dispute.

“The averments are preposterous, offensive and made in bad taste. The first objector (Mrs Odinga) has the autopsy reports. I believe that the statement she recorded with the DCI following the death of Fidel informs the first objector’s averments and is the genesis of our differences. The first objector has continuously made false, defamatory and/or unkind remarks about my family, friends and I,” Ms Bekele says.

The Odingas claim that they unsuccessfully tried to reach out to Ms Bekele and her brother Fahm Getachew Bekele so that a joint application for administration of Fidel’s estate could be filed.

They added that Ms Bekele secretly filed an application for the control of Fidel’s assets and failed to furnish them with the application despite having an interest in the estate.

“The said grant was issued erroneously, as it unjustifiably locked out other interested parties from the estate of the deceased, his other children, his mother and sister, respectively. The proposed administrators cannot be entrusted alone to faithfully administer according to the law the estate of the deceased and render a true and just account of such estate.

READ ALSO:   Twins mother seeks to join court battle for Fidel Odinga's property

“The proposed administrators of the deceased’s estate have already meddled with some of the properties. The objectors’ main interest in the estate is to protect, safeguard and guarantee the well-being of the grandchildren and ensure a proper account and distribution of the estate is carried out,” Mrs Odinga says.

The assets excluded — and which Ms Bekele now says she had no knowledge of — include three top-of-the-range vehicles, three bank accounts and her matrimonial home in Karen.

The two claim that shortly after Fidel’s burial, Ms Bekele “took off from her matrimonial home and cut all communications with the family of the deceased”.

But Ms Bekele insisted that she did not know of the Mercedes Benz Fidel owned, and that one of the Range Rovers in question is in the possession of her late husband’s business partner, only identified as Hossein, and who claims to have bought the vehicle.

The second Range Rover, Ms Bekele argues, is registered in the name of an individual identified as Yunis Muhammed.

As for their matrimonial home, Ms Bekele insists that its ownership fully shifted to her after Fidel’s death hence it cannot form part of her late husband’s estate.

Justice Muchelule directed the matter to be heard on November 13.


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More arrests loom over Syombua, children’s killings



More arrests are expected following the killing of the estranged wife of a soldier and her two children as homicide detectives and forensic experts from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation headquarters pitched camp on Sunday at the Laikipia Airbase in Nanyuki.

Following discovery of the bodies at a public cemetery on Saturday evening, detectives are now pursuing leads that the main suspect, Major Peter Mwaura, had accomplices in the killings.

After searching his house for several hours on Saturday, police now believe the murders were committed inside the army barracks. And now, detectives are trying to piece together how the soldier managed to sneak the three bodies out of the military facility undetected.

Sources within the police department revealed that preliminary findings have placed the possible murder scene inside the Laikipia Airbase leading investigators to suspect Major Mwaura had help from inside.

“It looks like he did it from inside the barracks definitely. Maybe he was helped by someone from within,” an officer who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case told the Nation.

Already, the Nation has learned that police have placed in custody and questioned two more people believed to have been involved in the murder and cover up.

READ ALSO:   Stick to football, Ida Odinga advises Mariga

A taxi operator who is yet to be identified is said to have told police in his statement that Major Mwaura sent him to purchase three gunny bags around the time the family disappeared. On Saturday, the three bodies found at Thingithu were stuffed in gunny bags.

At the same time, police reports also suggest that a casual worker at the military base identified as Collins Pamba has also been placed in custody in connection with the killings.

Mr Pamba is said to have helped the army man bury the bodies at the public cemetery where the government disposes unclaimed bodies.

Joyce Syombua, 31, and her two children, Shanice Maua, 10 and five-year-old Prince Michael, were reported missing on October 27 after spending two days at Major Mwaura’s home.

Ms Joyce Syombua (left) and her children Shanice Maua and Prince Michael, who have been missing since October 26. Her estranged husband on November 16, 2019 led police to three bodies dumped in a shallow grave at a cemetery in Nanyuki. PHOTO | POOL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

They had arrived at the Laikipia Airbase Barracks on October 25 where they were staying with the army man.

While police are trying to piece up the timeline of the murders, it has been reported that the suspect left the house with the children a day after they arrived at the base.

READ ALSO:   Fidel Odinga’s widow, Lwam Bekelle reveals heated communication with Ida

Syombua had apparently gone to fresh up, but afterwards found out that Major Mwaura had taken the children for a walk within the military base.

When he returned, the military officer reportedly claimed he had left the two children with a friend as he wanted to have a private conversation with his estranged wife.

But in his statement to detectives, Major Mwaura did not give finer details of what transpired on that morning.

As investigations into their disappearance took off, he told police that he took Syombua and their two children to Nanyuki bus terminus where they boarded a matatu under 4NTE Sacco.

The trio, however, never arrived at their home in Kayole, Nairobi, raising suspicion over their safety. A missing person report was initially made at the Soweto Police Station and the same relayed to Nanyuki Police Station, prompting investigations into the disappearance.

The discovery of her cellphone inside one of the matatus would later open a can of worms into what is turning out to be a brutal triple homicide and a well calculated cover up.

Major Mwaura is expected to be arraigned on Monday.


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‘Don’t mention my name in things you don’t know!’ Jacque Maribe blasts fan



Former media personality Jacque Maribe will not take wrong assumptions about life lying down.

After Jalango posted a photo of himself with her ex-fiance, Joseph ‘Jowie’ Irungu wishing him all the best in his life.

Jalang'o and JowieThe comedian posted a picture of himself, Jowie, Joe Muchiri and Dan paps, with the caption:

“This was a good day….@jowie.jowi 😭😭 Keep holding!”

Jowie is currently in Kamiti Maximum Prison over the brutal and gruesome murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani.

Jalango’s fan named wambui_glory took to to the comments segment of the Instagram post and wrote,

“… not that he deserves justice.. He deserved a bail and he’s innocent till proven guilty, Monica deserves justice too but it was unfair kupea Maribe bail waache huyu.”

A very angry Jacque shot back to defend herself in the legal matter.

“@wambui_glory please don’t mention my name on things you know nothing about. Thanks.”


By Mpasho

READ ALSO:   Raila Odinga Junior opens up for the first time on the pain of losing his brother Fidel Odinga
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Murder most foul: Soldier was ordered to support his 2 children



The soldier who is being held by police in connection with the murder of his estranged lover and two children had planned to attend his daughter’s birthday.

Major Peter Mugure had asked Joyce Syombua to bring Shanice Maua, 10, and Prince Michael, 5, to Laikipia Air Base in Nanyuki so that they could catch up before Shanice’s birthday on November 1.

Shanice was to celebrate her 11th birthday during the visit with her father, who trained as a civil engineer at the University of Nairobi.

Those who know 34-year-old Mugure, who was raised in Nairobi and attended Mwangaza Primary and Upper Hill Secondary schools, say he had a troubled relationship with Syombua.

Syombua’s mother, Elizabeth Malombe, claimed that a few of Mugure’s relatives were opposed to the union and discouraged him from getting married to her daughter.

“After they separated, they (relatives) went to collect his bags from the house he was living in with Syombua. They allegedly told her that he had told them to collect everything that belonged to him from that house,” said Ms Malombe.

Syombua’s friend, Farrizanah Katengu, told The Standard that Mugure had not seen his children for a long time.

“Syombua said that Mugure told her he did not want to appear like a stranger to the children during the birthday party. He asked them to visit him so that he could spend time with them,” said Farrizanah on the telephone.

READ ALSO:   Ida Odinga leads women in a dance in New York, US

Farrizanah said that she was Syombua’s classmate at St Bernard Secondary School in Kayole and by the time they were sitting their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations in 2009, they had become best friends.

Close relationship

This close relationship meant that the two women often confided in each other.The relationship between Mugure and Syombua also started when she was in St Bernard’s, with Farrizanah saying that the two got married immediately after Syombua finished school.

“She got pregnant with Shanice but they separated after eight months and Syombua went back to her mother’s house in Kayole,” said Farrizanah.

The friend said that Syombua, who worked at a bakery in Kayole, later got pregnant with Michael.Farrizanah said that Mugure had once denied siring Michael, which prompted the mother to seek legal intervention for child support.“A DNA test showed that he was the biological father of Shanice and Prince Michael.

He was ordered to pay for the children’s food and school fees,” said Farrizanah.

She told The Standard that Mugure was unhappy with the court ruling that ordered him to pay child support after Syombua reported him for neglecting his children.

Farrizanah’s description of the troubled relationship between Mugure and Syombua appeared to corroborate Malombe’s story about her daughter’s rocky union.

READ ALSO:   Rosemary Odinga sues PA for stealing Sh245,000 from her account

Domestic issues

A colleague of Mugure who requested anonymity revealed that Mugure, who hails from Lari in Kiambu County, had built a family house in Ongata Rongai.

“They had domestic issues and it disturbed him. But he never looked distressed in public. He was acting normal,” said the source.

The source, who works with Mugure, described him as humble and claimed that he may have wanted to reconcile with his estranged partner.

“I know he had asked Syombua to get back together and she was willing because she loved him,” the source said.

Syombua, Shanice and Michael went missing on October 26, one day after visiting the soldier at his workplace in Nanyuki.The three bodies were found tied with ropes, stuffed in gunny bags and buried in a shallow grave in Kilimo in Thingithu.

Syombua’s mother said she wants to be given the bodies of her daughter and grandchildren, which are at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.“I want to bury them in Kitui but I cannot afford to take them from Nanyuki to Kitui. I really need help. I am a single mother and I depended on her (Syombua),” she said.

Yesterday, homicide detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters joined their colleagues from Nanyuki in looking for evidence and collecting various samples at the scene where the bodies were found.

READ ALSO:   Ida Odinga caught on tape ‘stealing’ neighbour’s overhanging fruits – VIDEO

By Standard

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