Society

When heir blows inheritance on Formula 1 trips

formula1

Martin Kitisya Malinda burnt his inheritance following Formula 1 Grand Prix to Turkey, China, and the US. FILE | FOTOSEARCH

Summary

  • Martin was a jet-setter, he squandered one-fifth of his inheritance, according to his sister Consolata Ndida, and even sold some of the properties that were not his.

The story of Martin Kitisya Malinda who burnt his inheritance following Formula 1 Grand Prix to Turkey, China and the US reads like the biblical story of the prodigal son.

Martin was a jet-setter, he squandered one-fifth of his inheritance, according to his sister Consolata Ndida, and even sold some of the properties that were not his.

But unlike the prodigal son who repented and his father allowed him back to the fold, Martin was not accepted back. Martin died in March 2013, leaving his wife Catherine Katanga and two children who are now adults.

His mother Catherine Nduku Malinda, who died in September 2015, disinherited him and left him nothing in her will. The move forced his wife, Catherine to file a protest before the High Court, seeking to bar her sisters-in-law from getting letters to administer the estate of their mother.

Justice David Odunga dismissed her objection saying the mother was entitled to do what she did and it was not the court's business to investigate the truth behind the reasons and fault her decisions.

Catherine told the court that her mother-in-law left properties estimated at Sh177.6 million. She also complained that she and her children have been thrown out of the only home which they lived in for 20 years in Mwala.

In the will dated December 13, 2012, Ms Malinda said that Martin sold and benefited from the sale of her property on Jabavu Lane in Nairobi. He also struck a deal with a company that developed property in Hurlingham, from which he received a monthly income of Sh1.5 million.

The son also allegedly left the family's haulage company in the red through mismanagement.

Evidence presented in court showed that their father John David Munyao Malinda, passed away on March 18, 1989. After his death, his wife was granted letters to manage the estate.

But before his death, Mr Malinda bequeathed his son, Martin, a property known as Kyawango, which comprised buildings and 60 acres of land. He also gave the son one-fifth of the estate. The rest was left for the mother and his two daughters.

Mrs Malinda had also given her son the power of attorney to manage some of the properties but she later revoked it after he sold some without her consent.

Catherine told the court that her husband resigned from his well-paying job as an accountant to concentrate on running the family business including Distributors & Hauliers Limited.

But the sisters led by Consolata said he was fired because of mismanagement. She added that he resigned from his job on his own volition.

Catherine told the court that all was well until Consolata, who was living abroad, came into the picture.

Consolata said she discovered the mismanagement in the family business and sought to straighten things up, a move that angered Catherine and her husband who were beneficiaries of the plunder of the family fortune.

She said Martin chose to live in her mother's houses on Nairobi's Jabavu and Wood Avenue, not because they were not without means, but they wanted to live an easy life and escape paying rent.

She added that without any authority from her mother, Martin sold and squandered proceeds from the sale of the property, which had four maisonettes. He sold the second property on Jabavu Lane in 1997 without the knowledge of her mother.

She denied Catherine's claim that they were ejected from Kyawango home arguing that Martin sold off the properties and rarely visited their ailing mother in Mwala.

But Catherine told the court that family demands forced her to leave a well-paying job at the US Embassy in Nairobi to take care of her ailing mother-in-law who had a heart pacer.

She claimed to have lived with her mother-in-law every time she was in Nairobi whether it was for medical, social, or business and the heart pacer surgery.

But since her husband's death, she and her children were locked out of the only home in Mwala, which she claimed was her husband's inheritance as per the Kamba tradition that says the home belongs to the last born son.

“In the absence of any tangible evidence that the Protestor's (Catherine's) children were being maintained by the deceased (Mrs Malinda) before her death, there is no material based on which the Protestor's claim can succeed,” Justice Odunga said.

The Judge noted that while being cross-examined, Catherine admitted that the longest period she stayed in her house in Mwala, was one week.

“That, on the face of it, is evidence that the Protestor and her children were not closely in touch with the deceased as she claims to have been,” he ruled.