The year 2018 saw children of a number of prominent businessmen, politicians and other public officials who died locked in vicious court battles over the wealth left behind by their parents.
Among families locked in court fights were those of former Internal Security Minister John Michuki and the late Hezbone Shimei Nyong’o, the father to Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o.
Others are former Makueni MP and prominent judge Jackson Mulwa and children of billionaire businessman James Mwangi Kirung’o alias Kahama who owned K1 Club House.
At the centre of the battles is control of the empire left behind amid claims of exclusion.
Some of the disputes often led to ugly fights that exposed deep-rooted distrust among families once held together by the departed patriarch.
The late Michuki’s daughter, Yvonne Wanja, sued her two siblings Anne Mutahi and Fred Chege for a piece of the multi-billion shilling estate that includes Cargen House on Nairobi’s Harambee Avenue, Windsor Hotel, and Gateway Insurance Company among other assets.
Wanja, the last born child of the former Internal Security minister, wants his vast estate valued and that she receives a sixth of the property.
Michuki’s 1973 will did not disclose the value of his vast investments, but a 2014 report published by a British organisation estimates his wealth at between Sh3 billion and Sh10 billion.
Ms Wanja blamed her two siblings — given powers by the High Court to administer the estate — of mismanaging it.
Another sibling squabble occurred in the family of the late Kirung’o with his daughters fighting over what they termed as exclusion from a Sh2 billion estate that includes Nairobi’s K1 Club House, Kahama hotels, Small World Country Club, land and houses spread across the country.
Mr Kirung’o’s three daughters want the court to force their brothers — John Kirungo Mwangi and Sammy Lonce Wakaina — to share out the estate.
The Nyong’o family has also been torn apart by property ownership wrangles with the battle ending up in court and one of the governor’s nephews pushing for his imprisonment, together with his sister, over contempt of court claims.
The nephew has accused them of excluding other close relatives from the list of beneficiaries of the property.
The property under contention includes 100 acres of land in Miwani and flats on Jogoo Road in Nairobi. Others are parcels of land in Manyatta, Tamu, Milimani Estate and East Rata in Kisumu County.
The High Court directed Prof Nyong’o and his sister Risper Nyagoy to include their nephews on the inheritance list but they defied the order. The nephews want them jailed for defying the court.
On the other hand, the first wife of former Makueni MP and prominent judge, Justice Mulwa, who died in March 2015 is challenging a will that was set to be used to distribute his Sh5 billion estate.
At the centre of the heated battle is a piece of land in the Lukenya area measuring some 3,461 acres and estimated to be worth Sh4.1 billion. The property also includes the prestigious Lukenya Schools.
Children of Garissa tycoon Mahat Kuno Roble have also been involved in a vicious legal battle for control of his business empire.
Some have teamed up to sue their brother, Mohamed, over his control of the landmark Almond Resort, a Garissa-based hotel.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.