GREED OR GOOD SAMARITANS? THE PUZZLING STORY OF THE LATE ENTREPRENEUR WILLIAM MUTILANGI

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William Alfred Mulwa Mutilangi was an accomplished Kenyan, a top innovator at Pepsi, with an estimated wealth of over Kshs 500M and with no wife or known children as per family members.

In a story fraught with intrigue, William Alfred Mulwa Mutilangi, a highly accomplished Kenyan who rose from a humble village in Masii, Machakos County, to become a top innovator at Pepsi, met an untimely demise in the United States.

The brilliant mind, credited with a recent groundbreaking invention at Pepsi, passed away under suspicious circumstances, leading to a heated battle over his vast estate. Mulwa, a first-class honours graduate in Food Science from the University of Nairobi, left Kenya over four decades ago in pursuit of opportunities in the U.S. Throughout his illustrious career, he achieved the remarkable feat of obtaining a patent for an innovative technique to enhance the texture of sugar-free drinks, a collaborative endeavour with Khushal Brijwani.

On October 10, 2023, two individuals, one claiming to be Mulwa’s sister Mary Mutilangi and the other as Peter Githinji, took the 67-year-old to the North Westchester Restorative Therapy and Nursing Centre in New York. However, it was later discovered that the real Mary Mutilangi was far away in Masii.

This revelation raised suspicions among Mulwa’s family members as they questioned the identities presented to the hospital staff. Mulwa’s death certificate states that he died from cardiac arrest caused by difficulty breathing due to prostate cancer.

 This further fuels the family’s concerns as they believe foul play may have been involved. Their worries are intensified by the actions of Bakari Kisalu Malanda, a Tanzanian national who claims to be Mulwa’s son and has intentions of seizing his estate.

According to Mary Mutilangi, her brother had expressed his desire to retire and return to Kenya, eager to savour the wealth he had accumulated over the years. She discloses Mulwa’s plans to acquire livestock and find a wife upon his return to Masii.

 According to the family, Mulwa was unmarried and had no children from previous relationships. Despite being wealthy, Mulwa had a minimal online presence and there is limited information available about him apart from his achievements at Pepsi and academic publications.

The family has lodged complaints with the State Department of Diaspora Affairs, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kenya, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the United States.

The controversy extends to Mulwa’s assets, including ten houses in Nairobi, Kiambu, and Machakos valued at approximately Sh200 million. Malanda’s claim as the legal heir, supported by a questionable power of attorney, has intensified the legal battle over the estate.

 The Mulwa family’s lawyer in the United States, Japheth Matemu, has confirmed that the FBI is currently conducting a preliminary inquiry to seek justice. The family asserts that the power of attorney, granted to Githinji by Kahuthu & K Advocates, does not meet professional standards, leading to calls for an investigation by the Law Society of Kenya.

The Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC, acting on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, has engaged with Githinji, the funeral home, and Pepsi. However, Githinji claims to be unfamiliar with Malanda, and both he and Pepsi point to legal restrictions preventing them from sharing information.

 While the family waits for justice, the circumstances surrounding Mulwa’s death are slowly being uncovered, exposing a complex network of lies, legal tactics, and an estate valued at a minimum of Sh500 million. The responsibility of uncovering the truth and ensuring rightful inheritance now lies in the hands of investigators in Kenya and the U.S., while Mulwa’s legacy remains enigmatic.

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