The grand child of the late billionaire Njenga Karume, Michelle Wariara Karume, died on Saturday 14th September 1919 in Houston Texas, after a long battle with cancer.
It is alleged that she was unable to raise funds for clinical tests that could have enabled her to get the required treatment.
According to a reporter from the Nation newspapers, she had begged for funds for over a year, but George Waireri the family contact, whom she had sent emails begging for funds, claimed that the death had nothing to do with funds.
This was however disputed by the lawyer for Karume’s children Mr Peter Munge who claimed that they had appealed to the trustee to release funds but the same, was not forthcoming.
She was 25 years at the time of her death and sometimes in March 2019, she had written a passionate appeal for funds to the trustees of the multi-billion Karume Estate, but it was ignored as she never received any.
She was the daughter of the late Joseph Karume Njenga who died tragically on Sep 4, 2010 at the notorious Salgaa black spot when his saloon car rammed into a trailer around midnight.
Daily nation report says:
“On several instances, we had to push for a court order so that she could get funds for her treatment. At one time, she addressed the court and broke down pleading for her life as funds were not forthcoming,” he said.
The email went unanswered.
“My final wishes, I would like you all to take a minute to reflect on my current situation, because it has taken courage, compassion and faith in God to overcome and get through every day. It is with a heavy heart that it has come to this, but I am running out of time here. I kindly would like to know the way forward because it is such a terribly long time since I was on treatment,” wrote Ms Karume on email.
“What is the purpose of my grandfather’s wealth if it alone cannot benefit someone as myself when it comes to my healthcare purposes?”
She explained in detail how she had missed her medication simply because funds were not forthcoming.
“I travelled to the (United) States in December for follow-up tests, my doctor introduced me to a clinical trial, with treatment that would benefit me in the long run. At first I was anxiously hesitant to accept it because I was required to pay a huge amount out of pocket to proceed with the treatment and then I was told to wait that money has being allocated and not fly back to Kenya. I was enrolled into the trial in January….then February….then March….still waiting on funds. If anyone is concerned in any way of my well-being, my health is deteriorating,” she lamented.
She added that the little funds she was receiving were only enough to pay her rent and upkeep with her young child.
In January 2018 she had addressed the court on the issue of the trustees delaying giving her money for medication.
The children of the late Karume have been embroiled in a case where they want the trustees kicked out.
Before he died, Mr Karume had put all his wealth under three holding companies to be managed by the Njenga Karume Trust under the trustees.
The team of trustees includes George Warieri, Kung’u Gatabaki and Margaret Nduta Kamithi.
This happened and maybe no one in the diaspora was notified or just assumed that the family was capable of assisting her. People in Diaspora have helped many needy cases and if this was brought to the attention of group leaders, maybe we could have saved the situation but its too late now and all we can say R.I.P. Michell.
President Kenyan Parents In USA
Board Member Central Organization For Diaspora Unity CODU