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Ndung’u Gethenji wins lawsuit against brother in Sh20bn estate tussle


By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The High Court has vested control of a Sh20 billion estate riddled with management issues to former Tetu MP James Ndung’u Gethenji.

Mr Ndung’u Gethenji is the controlling shareholder of Kihingo Village (Waridi Gardens) Limited and Kihingo Village (Waridi) Management One Limited (KVWGML), which owns the high-end estate.

Mr Ndung’u Gethenji and his elder brother Gitahi Gethenji have been fighting over management of the estate.

Lady Justice Loise Komingoi and Lady Justice Margaret Muigai directed Mr Ndung’u Gethenji to remain at the helm of the management of the two companies.

Waridi Gardens Estate in Kitisuru, Nairobi, consists of 55 housing units each valued at Sh400 million and a clubhouse.

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Judges Komingoi and Muigai decided that the cases were pegged on the control of the estate and the clubhouse.

Before Justice Komingoi was a suit filed by Kifaru Investment Limited, Wanjiru Shinga, Kishorkumar Dhanji Varsani, Samuel Wambu Mwangi, Mohan Sing Panaser and William Pike seeking 13 orders against the controlling shareholder of KVWGL.

Kifaru was seeking orders to block Mr Ndung’u Gethenji and the Managing Director of KVWGML) Mr Chacha Mabanga holding themselves as directors of the company.

Kifaru and the other plaintiffs sought orders barring KVWGL from transferring the clubhouse or disposing of it in any way pending the determination of the case.

The plaintiffs also sought to have 60 shares held by Mr Ndung’u Gethenji, which give him authority over management of the estate, scrapped.

They had also urged the court to compel the Registrar of Companies to rectify the register in respect of the shareholding of Mr Ndung’u Gethenji following an arbitral award dated July 28, 2016.

But Justice Komingoi said in her ruling she cannot scrap Mr Ndung’u Gethenji’s 60 shares in KVWGML since they were not reflected in the arbitral award adopted by the court in February 15 2019.

The judge declined to grant 13 reliefs saying already there are orders recognising Mr Ndung’u Gethenji, Mr Mabanga and KVWGML as the bona fide managers of Kihingo Village (Waridi Gardens) and its 99 years leasehold tenants who are shareholders in the company.

Mr Ndung’u Gethenji developed the estate with a Sh800 million loan from the Commercial Bank of Africa.

The two are sons of former Tetu MP Joseph Augustine Gethenji who was Director of Personnel Management (DPM) in the first government of President Jomo Kenyatta and as a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Labour in the government of former President Daniel arap Moi.

Mr Ndung’u Gethenji has built 55 palatial houses on a 37-acre plot. Each house stands on a half-acre plot.

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