President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother-in-law Udi Gecaga and his stepmother Margaret Gacigi Gecaga are embroiled in a fresh battle over the ownership of eight properties in Nairobi’s Muthaiga estate.
This is after the Appeals Court allowed Margaret to challenge an arbitration ruling that gave Udi the right over the properties left behind by his late father Bethuel Gecaga.
The High Court declined to set aside the arbitration ruling that gave Udi the go-ahead to evict his stepmother from the Muthaiga house she lived with Bethuel for 10 years before his death in 2016.
Udi also demanded Sh9 million from Margaret being rent for the duration she lived in the house since his dad’s demise.
Margaret is contesting the transfer of the eight properties to Udi, citing fraud and forgery in the handover of the assets. She argues that her late husband was not in a position to execute the disputed transfers due to his health condition.
Margaret avers that if the arbitration ruling is allowed to stand, it would cause panic to widows, who are left vulnerable and unable to protect matrimonial property.
While upholding a decision by a tribunal on the transfer of the properties, High Court Justice Grace Nzioka noted that there was no evidence that the award was contrary to public policy.
“On the second issue of whether Muthaiga properties were to be considered to be matrimonial property, the Tribunal made its findings. In particular, the tribunal found in paragraph 169 that the properties were purchased in the 1960s and 1970s when the deceased was married to his late wife,” the judge said.
The judge agreed with the tribunal that for a spouse to claim a share of matrimonial property, they must prove that they contributed towards the acquisition and improvement of the property.
Bethuel married Margaret in August 2007, 28 years after the death of his first wife Jemima Gecaga.
Udi, who is married to President Kenyatta’s elder sister Jeni Wambui, is the father of Uhuru’s personal assistant Jomo Gecaga and KICC CEO Nana Gecaga.