Dispute over Fai Amario’s inheritance: ‘Son’ appears after searching for his wife in a newspaper

The battle over the Sh760 million inheritance of the late and controversial Naivasha-based brewer Fai Amario has taken a new turn after a man claiming to be his son went to court to request to be included as a beneficiary.

Evans Karee, 33, claims he is the biological son of the late businessman and has filed an application with the court seeking what he believes is his rightful inheritance.

Karee declared that his late father was a polygamist and had married his late mother, Penninah Shinta, after placing an advertisement in local newspapers seeking a wife.

This development comes just four months after the 14-year succession dispute appeared to be about to end.

On January 31, Nakuru High Court Judge Samuel Mohochi distributed part of the estate worth Sh56 million among 10 beneficiaries and allowed the administrators to confirm the remaining estate based on consent signed by nine beneficiaries.

The 10 beneficiaries included Amario’s children, Marsha Dee, Miki Ng’ang’a, Bernice Njeri, Debbie Jolly, James Kimani, Sheena Euston, Yuri Gilbert, Sheila Wangari, a minor, and Salome Wanjiku.

Mrs Wanjiku, who was the tycoon’s girlfriend, was allocated 5 per cent of the Sh56 million.

But Karee is seeking revocation of the grant of letters of administration issued to Amario’s children, Dee, Ng’ang’a and Euston, on September 23, 2010.

He claims that these administrators excluded him by deliberately concealing material facts about his existence, and he only discovered that the case had been filed later in January.

He presented the court with a newspaper report showing that Amario married Shinta in Nakuru on September 11, 1999. He further alleges that his stepbrothers knew of his existence but chose to hide it from the courts when they filed the case in 2010.

“The administrators know I exist. They knew my mother. I was never informed of the process and the case was filed in 2010, when I was still in high school,” Karee stated in her court papers.

He now wants the court to stop the distribution of the estate until his application, in which he seeks to be recognized as a member of the family, is heard and resolved.

“The planned distribution of the assets will be detrimental to me, since it will disinherit me from what is due to me, thus violating my rights,” he said.

Judge Mohochi ordered Mr Karee to deliver the application within seven days, which should be responded to within 14 days, before giving further instructions on July 9.

Fai Amario, a wealthy tycoon who died in 2010, was one of the first major suppliers of affordable liquor and founded one of the indigenous alcohol distilleries, Fai Amarillo Ltd.

His life was marked by controversies and frequent confrontations with the authorities.

Popular brands produced by their factory included Amario’s Sherry, Pooler, Medusa, Uhuru 2000, Kata Pingu, Mahewa and Cantata, which were distributed through warehouses in Meru, Murang’a, Thika and Naivasha.

In 2021, Dee informed the court that the company generated Sh28 million every four months.

The distribution of the estate has been contentious, with Mr Ng’ang’a and Mrs Dee disputing over the beneficiaries. While Ng’ang’a wanted all 10 to benefit, Dee attempted to exclude Wanjiku and Wangari, arguing that they were not legitimate beneficiaries.

According to the consent signed in court, Ng’ang’a, Dee, Njeri, Jolly, Kimani, Euston and Yuri were each allocated 11.85 percent of the estate, the minor 6.05 percent, to Wanjiku 5 percent and Wangari 6 percent.

The family proposed to sell the properties located in Mwichiringiri, Naivasha, for Sh56 million.