Home » Kenya’s second-largest landowners, Moi family, grapple with legal bills

Kenya’s second-largest landowners, Moi family, grapple with legal bills

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Awele Elumelu

The family of the late Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi is facing a substantial legal challenge, as the esteemed law firm of Kilonzo and Company Advocates has submitted a bill of Ksh69.7 million ($490,000) against the former president’s estate.

The bill, lodged at the High Court for assessment by the law firm registered under Mutula Kilonzo Jr. and Kethi Kilonzo, is directly related to the family’s protracted legal dispute with media magnate Samuel Kamau Macharia.

Kilonzo and Company Advocates defended the late Daniel arap Moi in the lawsuit initiated by Macharia back in 2003. The tycoon had leveled accusations against several lenders, including Moi and the former head of public service and secretary to the Cabinet, Joseph arap Letting, citing alleged violations of his rights and claims of unjust enrichment through economic pressure.

Official court documents reveal that a representative from the law firm appeared in court on no less than 21 occasions, spanning from Dec. 3, 2004, to Nov. 28, 2022. For their legal representation in the case, the law firm has billed the estate of Moi a total of Ksh30 million ($207,000) and other added fees.

The Moi family, which commands significant influence across business and politics, has emerged as one of Kenya’s richest families. Bolstered by an extensive land portfolio of nearly 300,000 acres, they stand as the second-largest landholders in the nation, trailing only behind the well-heeled Kenyatta family.

The family’s prominence in the media landscape, with a significant stake in Standard Media Group, cannot be overlooked. This conglomerate encompasses prominent media outlets such as the widely watched Kenya Television Network, various newspapers, and a string of radio stations.

While unofficial estimates circulated within Kenyan media place the Moi family’s total wealth at a staggering $3 billion, these figures remain unverified, and their actual financial standing could be mitigated by existing liabilities.

In 2021, the family sold a 51-percent stake in Nairobi-based logistics and aviation handling firm Siginon Aviation Limited to National Aviation Services for Ksh1.7 billion ($15.2 million), while retaining a 12-percent shareholding in the broader Siginon Group.

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