Uhuru’s in-law fights step-mum Margaret to keep 8 multi-billion properties in Muthaiga

Family feud plays out in public

President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta's brother-in-law Udi Gecaga is fighting to keep control of eight properties in Muthaiga estate worth billions. Udi married the president’s elder sister Jeni Wambui.

Udi’s step mother Margaret Gecaga has been allowed to challenge a ruling that gave Udi the administrative rights of the property which belong to the late Bethuel Gecaga.

Bethuel, who is Udi’s father, had married Margaret in 2007, 28 years after the death of his first wife, former nominated MP Jemima Gecaga.

According to court documents, Udi argued that the properties were acquired by his late father before his marriage to his step mother and therefore does not constitute matrimonial property.

The high court therefore awarded him the right to control the property and also evict her from his father’s house.

"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 at paragraph 169 that the properties were purchased in the 1960s and 1970s when the deceased was married to his late wife," the judge said at the time.

In her new appeal, Margaret will be seeking to prove that she contributed to the improvement of the property, giving her the right to claim it.

She also argued that she was Betheul’s wife from 1993, years before the ratification of the marriage in 2007.

Udi’s son was named after Kenya’s founding father Jomo Gecaga and works at State House as the president’s private secretary.

His daughter, Nana Gecaga works as the CEO of Kenyatta International Conference Centre which is a state agency.

The Matrimonial Property Act provides that spouses have an interest in land that is considered matrimonial property and when registered in the name of only one spouse, “there shall be rebuttable presumption that the property is held in trust for the other spouse.

According to a 2020 report from Human Right Watch, an NGO, the process of obtaining administrative rights over the property depends on who, between the wife or the diseased husband’s relative, applies for a grant first, who has possession of the deceased’s birth, death certificates and other identification documents, and is supported by the traditional leader.

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