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Africa News of Thursday, 20 May 2021


Tanzania court rejects will of prominent businessman who died in 2019

Reginald Mengi who was a prominent businessman in Tanzania died on May 2, 2019 in Dubai Reginald Mengi who was a prominent businessman in Tanzania died on May 2, 2019 in Dubai

A Tanzania High Court has rejected a will that was allegedly written by the late prominent businessman Reginald Mengi among other things stating that it does not meet the legal requirements to be regarded as a valid will.

Reginald Mengi who was a prominent businessman in Tanzania died on May 2, 2019 in Dubai, UAE.

The decision was handed down on May 18 by Judge Yose Mlyambina following a lawsuit filed by four people, including a relative of the deceased, seeking nomination to be administrators of the deceased’ estate.

Judge Mlyambina reached the decision after agreeing with the objections raised by the petitioners; one of Mengi's eldest children and Mengi’s brother, who were challenging the legitimacy of the will.

Inheritance case number 39 of 2019 was filed by Benson Benjamin Mengi, William Onesmo Mushi, Zoebu Hassuji and Sylvia Novatus Mushi requesting their appointment as trustees in accordance with the will.

However, Mengi’s son, Abdiel Reginald Mengi and his brother, Benjamin Abraham Mengi, filed an objection against the will, challenging its validity presenting a total of six grounds for their objection.

The reasons include that it was not sealed and the existing signature was different from the usual signature of the late Reginald Mengi and that it was not witnessed by any of the deceased's relative or wife.

They also claimed that the deceased had no capacity to draw the purported will since he was facing serious health issues since 2016 and that it removes from inheritance, the deceased’s children without regard to Chagga traditions or involving relatives.

The petitioners also claimed that the Will bequeathed the deceased’s estate to his new spouse (Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe Mengi) and his twin children.

They further argued that the said will complicates the duty to uphold the family name and legacy by those who have been disinherited.

The High Court after hearing both parties’ submissions in its judgment read yesterday by Judge Mlyambina and a copy obtained for public use, agreed with the arguments against the will and declared it invalid.

Judge Mlyambina agreed with the reasons for the objection and, among other things, said that it deprived them of their inheritance without giving a reason, and that the assets of the deceased’s first wife were included in the property.

In the decision, Judge Mlyambina did not appoint the applicants as executors of the estate and instead appointed Abdiel and Benjamin as trustees and directed the estate of the deceased to be distributed to the appropriate heirs in a manner of a person who did not leave a will.

Earlier, the widow of the late Mengi, Jacqueline tried unsuccessfully to be joined in the case but the court rejected her application three times.