Home » Widow of late Tanzanian billionaire Reginald Mengi suffers legal setback in inheritance row

Widow of late Tanzanian billionaire Reginald Mengi suffers legal setback in inheritance row

by Yusuf Abdulfatai

Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe Mengi, the widow of late Tanzanian billionaire media tycoon Reginald Mengi, has suffered a major legal setback after the country’s Court of Appeal denied her request to overturn judgments that declared her late husband’s last Will and Testament invalid.

The court decided that Mengi’s alleged will did not meet legal requirements for a valid will and that the affidavits filed in support of the application by Jacqueline Mengi and her lawyer Audax Kahendaguza were defective.

The ruling comes nearly eight months after Jacqueline and her two children, Jaden Kihoza Mengi and Ryan Saashisha Mengi, petitioned the Court of Appeal to review and reject a High Court ruling that annulled Mengi’s will, which excluded other children from the bequest.

Reginald Mengi, a Tanzanian billionaire media magnate and philanthropist, died on May 2, 2019, in Dubai, UAE, following a lengthy illness.

After his death, a will revealed that he left his entire estate, worth approximately Ksh60 billion ($560 million) in 2014, to his widow Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe Mengi and their twin sons, Jaden Kihoza Mengi and Ryan Saashisha Mengi.

Mengi’s eldest son from his first marriage, Abdiel Reginald Mengi, and his brother, Benjamin Abraham Mengi, challenged the legitimacy of the will, arguing that the late businessman had no capacity to draw up the purported will as he had suffered from serious health issues since 2016.

They also revealed that the will’s legitimacy is questionable as it excluded the deceased’s elder children from inheritance without regard for Chagga traditions or involving relatives.

They claimed that the will was not sealed and the signature on it differed from their late father’s usual signature. They also stated that the will’s signing was not witnessed by any of the deceased’s relatives or his wife.

In 2019, the High Court in Dar es Salaam appointed Abdiel and Benjamin as trustees of the estate after challenging the authenticity of Mengi’s will, which named Jacqueline and her two children as trustees.

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