In a startling escalation of the Rai family’s internal feud, the Nairobi High Court has intervened, freezing a bank account central to their vast business empire.
The move follows a legal challenge filed by Iqbal Rai, one of the brothers, who asserts he was unfairly ousted as a signatory, reigniting a fierce succession battle within the renowned Rai family.
At the heart of the dispute lies Rai Investments Ltd, a cornerstone of the family’s extensive business holdings. Iqbal Rai, a director and shareholder in the company alongside his brothers, Sarbjit Rai and Jaswant Rai, moved to the courts after he was allegedly removed as a signatory without proper procedures.
According to his application, filed through lawyer Ekuru Aukot, Iqbal argued that his removal jeopardized the account’s security, leaving it open to unauthorized manipulation and withdrawals.
He implored the court to reinstate him as a signatory, among other demands, sparking a legal showdown that could reshape the family’s vast business empire.
The feud sheds light on a broader conflict within the Rai family, primarily revolving around the estate of their late father, Tarlochan Singh Rai, who passed away in 2010.
Iqbal Rai, asserting his rights as a director, stated that his attempts to rectify the situation had been met with indifference, forcing him to seek legal recourse.
Despite his removal as a signatory, records at the company registry confirm Iqbal’s position as a director, adding a layer of complexity to the dispute.
His legal challenge requests the court to mandate the release of bank statements since his ousting in February 2023, underlining the urgency and gravity of the situation.
This internal strife also casts a shadow over the family’s vast business interests.
The Rai family’s investments stretch across multiple sectors, including real estate, luxury shops, and manufacturing, not only in Kenya but also in neighboring countries like Uganda, Tanzania, and Malawi. The freezing of the bank account halts essential financial operations and signals a significant development in this ongoing saga.
Furthermore, the Rai family feud has not been confined to the courtroom. It has spilled into public view during business dealings, notably in the revival efforts of the collapsed Mumias Sugar Company.
Sarbjit Rai, another sibling, managed to secure the bid for revitalizing the sugar mill in Uganda. However, this move was met with opposition from Jaswant Rai, leading to a protracted legal battle that further strained family relations.