Kenya: Police, Lawyer Fight for Missing Belgian's Sh100m Estate

Two years after the mysterious disappearance of 63-year-old Belgian woman, Dysselleer Mireille Lesoipa, a new controversy has emerged over what should become of her Sh100 million estate.

The police are engaged in a court battle with Nakuru-based lawyer Harry Gakinya -- whom they have accused of killing Ms Lesoipa -- over the control of the property.

While the detectives from the Serious Crimes Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are keen on seeing the succession matter filed by Mr Gakinya terminated, the lawyer, who successfully filed for letters of administration, wants to have the grant confirmed by the court.

The detectives, led by Sgt Franklin Kiraithe and Oliver Nabonwe, filed successive affidavits in court seeking to have the matter terminated after they arrested and charged Mr Gakinya with the murder of Ms Lesoipa.

Fake documents

According to the affidavit filed on November 2, 2020 and later on March 26, 2021, Mr Kiraithe told the court that Mr Gakinya, the purported beneficiary of Ms Lesoipa's estate, used fake documents to petition for the grant of letters of administration and thus premised the succession matter on fraud.

He told the court that the police have since established that the Wills purportedly drawn by Ms Lessoipa on November 15, 2018 and the death certificate showing that the Belgian died on July 15 at MP Shah Hospital, were forgeries.

"From the investigations, it is explicit that the death certificate, the Will and the testament used in filing this succession case were obtained fraudulently, hence cannot be used in this matter. It is in the view of the above that we request this court to terminate this matter," stated Mr Kiraithe in the affidavit.

However, despite the police dismissing the travel documents and the death certificate as fake and charging Mr Gakinya with murder, they are yet to find the body of the woman or explain exactly how and where she was killed.

Mr Gakinya, who is charged alongside his cousin Lucy Waithera at the High Court in Kiambu, has on the other trashed the new move by the police, which he termed as uninformed.

His lawyer, Mr Karanja Mbugua, faulted the police for swearing an affidavit without first filing an application.

Ignore affidavit

Appearing virtually before Justice Teresia Matheka, Mr Mbugua urged the court to ignore the affidavit and proceed to confirm his client's grant for the administration of Ms Lessoipa's estate.

Mr Gakinya claims that nobody has come forth to challenge the succession matter and thus, he should be allowed to execute the Will.

He explained that the said beneficiaries of the estate are still waiting for their share as some were destitute families whom the Belgian wanted to assist.

In the said controversial documents, Mr Gakinya was named the executor of last Will that was written by Ms Lessoipa on November 15, 2018.

It named seven other individuals as beneficiaries to the estate, namely Ramato Tilia Lenkiok Education, Ntalie Lenolkiok, Elizabeth John Leramat Lebiite Education, her driver John Wanjohi, Daniel Moen and Lucy Waithera Njuguna who was also her hair stylist.

The said Will indicated that Ms Lesoipa owned properties including a house in Milimani Estate in Nakuru, a high end vehicle and cash in three accounts at KCB bank and another at Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (Suisse) in Belgium.

Seek legal advice

Justice Matheka advised the police to seek legal advice on how to proceed with their application before the case is mentioned on October 4, 2021.

The Belgian migrated to Kenyan in 1993 after marrying a Samburu dancer, Emmanuel Lesoipa, then 21, whom she had fallen in love with.

Their marriage hit the rocks nine years later and was dissolved in 2003.

The couple, who stayed in Lonkoben village, owned property including parcels of land and commercial buildings across Samburu County as well as thousands of cattle.

Mr Lesoipa died in 2017 and Ms Lesoipa, who had no children, moved to Nakuru where she bought a house in Milimani in 2019.

Mr Gakinya filed the succession matter in 2019, claiming that the woman had succumbed to HIV/Aids at MP Shah Hospital

The police joined the case in 2020 seeking to stop it after a whistle blower reported the disappearance of the woman and the presence of a suspicious file in court.

Their investigations led to the arrest of Mr Gakinay and Ms Waithera, who were charged with her murder, charges which they have denied.

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