Home » High Court annuls long-contested will of Tanzanian media mogul Reginald Mengi

High Court annuls long-contested will of Tanzanian media mogul Reginald Mengi

by Ishioma Emi

The Tanzanian High Court has rejected the will of the late billionaire businessman Reginald Mengi, stating that it does not meet the legal requirements to be regarded as a valid will.

Presiding Judge Yose Mlyambina handed down the decision on May 18 following a lawsuit filed by four trustees,* who have demanded to be nominated as administrators of Mengi’s estate.

The Citizen reported the four trustees as Benson Benjamin Mengi, William Onesmo Mushi, Zoebu Hassuji and Sylvia Novatus Mushi.

Two more individuals also filed an objection against the will, challenging its authenticity. They include his son Abdiel Reginald Mengi and his brother Benjamin Abraham Mengi. They claim that the will was not sealed and bears a signature that differs from that of the late billionaire.

However, the judge opted against appointing the applicants as executors. Instead, he appointed Abdiel and Benjamin as trustees. He also directed the deceased’s estate to be distributed to the appropriate heirs in the manner of a person, who did not leave any will at all.

Mlyyambina added that the will deprived Mengi’s children of their inheritance without reason and that the assets of the deceased’s first wife were included in the property.

Mengi died on May 2, 2019 in Dubai, UAE, after a protracted illness. His will bequeathed his entire estate worth about Sh 60 billion ($560m) as of 2014 to his widow Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe Mengi and their twin sons.

The businessman was a media mogul, philanthropist and author, and chaired the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation. He also chaired the Confederation of Tanzania Industries, IPP Gold Ltd. and Media Owners Association of Tanzania, and was the executive chairman and owner of IPP Ltd. (Tanzania) and chairman of Handeni Gold, Inc. 

*A trustee is someone who manages money or assets set aside for someone else.

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