Naivas Supermarkets founder’s assets have been taken over by the Treasury, putting him on the long list of individuals whose shares in companies listed at the Nairobi bourse have been surrendered to the State.
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) said it was holding Sasini and Safaricom shares and dividends belonging to the late Peter Mukuha Kago.
Mukuha died on May 6, 2010 and was buried at Nakuru’s North Public Cemetery. His Safaricom shares were surrendered to the authority in 2014 and dividends from 2015 to last year as his family battled for his wealth in court.
Sasini also transferred shares and dividends belong to the Naivas patriarch in 2017.
He joins a list of prominent names, including Barack Hussein Obama, the father of the former US president, Lucy Kibaki, wife of retired President Mwai Kibaki and Lena Moi, whom former President Moi divorced in 1974, whose assets were considered idle and have been forwarded to the agency.
It is not clear why the companies have failed to trace the prominent public figures or legal beneficiaries of the assets.
Source at UFAA reckon the families of the known public figures are yet to present wills or letters of administration.
These are court permits to administer the estate of someone who has died without making a will.
“It difficult to reunite assets with families fighting over wealth in cases where there is no will or the will is contested,” said the source who sought anonymity.
Naivas Supermakets had been at the centre of a family feud over the sale of a majority stake to South African retail giant Massmart.
Mr Newton Kagiri Mukuha moved to court in 2013 seeking to stop the sale on grounds that his siblings led by Simon Gachwe and David Kimani had excluded him from owning a piece of the retail store, which initially targeted low income earners and was then Kenya’s fourth largest supermarket.
The row has fizzled out and has seen Naivas rise to second in Kenya’s retail rankings behind Tuskys.