News

Njenga Karume's family names new trustees

karume

The late Njenga Karume. FILE PHOTO | NMG

jameskariuki-img

Summary

  • Former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner Kuria Muchiru will serve as the trustee chairman tasked with leading a turnaround of the few surviving businesses that the late politician left behind.
  • The trustees fell out of favour with Karume’s beneficiaries after the family accused the trustees of neglecting the beneficiaries, failing to settle fees or provide maintenance.

The family of the late Cabinet minister and business tycoon Njenga Karume has replaced the trustees he had appointed to manage his multibillion-shilling empire, ending a vicious battle over management of his wealth.

On Friday, Karume’s kin announced the new team unanimously approved by his children.

Former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) partner Kuria Muchiru will serve as the trustee chairman tasked with leading a turnaround of the few surviving businesses that the late politician left behind.

Others are Karume’s daughter Lucy and lawyer Rachel Mbai, both of who are directors of Karume Holdings.

Henry Waireri Karume, the eldest son, is the only trustee to continue serving after the family let go of George Ngugi, Kung’u Gatabaki, and Margaret Kamithi who they accused of mismanaging their father’s properties.

“We are confident as a family that the trustees will turn around the business empire left behind by the founder and grow it to the level he envisaged during his lifetime,” they said.

The trustees’ selection process was overseen by Iseme Kamau & Maema (IKM) Advocates.

Last June, High Court judge Roseline Aburili allowed the ejection of Mr Ngugi, Mr Gatabaki and Ms Kamithi and directed that they be made to account for all transactions undertaken since February 24, 2012, after which indemnity will be granted should it be established there was no wrongdoing in dealings with the trust's assets.

Fall out

The trustees fell out of favour with Karume’s beneficiaries after the family accused the trustees of neglecting the beneficiaries, failing to settle fees or provide maintenance.

Before he succumbed to cancer on February 24, 2012, Karume had put all his wealth under three holding companies to be managed by the Njenga Karume Trust under the trustees.

His children went to court in 2015 seeking to replace the trustees. The battle ended with the 2016 ceasefire involving a resolution to sell part of Kachoroba Farm for purposes of settling medical expenses of the ailing beneficiaries, maintenance of beneficiaries and to meet education expenses.

The prime Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi had been put up for auction to clear a bank loan.

Karume’s vast empire includes vast land, Cianda House in Nairobi, several apartments, Lake Elementaita Lodge and Village Inn and Jacaranda hotels.