Nairobi News


Mastermind Tobacco tycoon dies

Wilfred Murungi, the owner of Mastermind Tobacco, is dead.

According to a memo circulated to the employees of Mastermind Tobacco Kenya Limited, Mr Murungi, who is the Chairman died on Thursday. Mastermind are the makers of Supermatch cigarettes.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing on of our chairman, Mr.W.Murungi on the 6/6/19. The board requests that all staff respect the family’s privacy in this difficult time. Further announcements will be made,” read the memo.

The cause of his death is still unknown.

Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria has expressed his sadness on the loss of the chairman.

“Saddened to receive the news of the passing on of illustrious industrialist and Chairman of Mastermind Tobacco Kenya Eng Wilfred Murungi . If we do not fix the environment of doing business we will continue losing our people, from Nyamakima traders to leading manufacturers. RIP,” he said.

His death comes at a time his company is embroiled in a protracted legal tussle with KRA over unpaid taxes as well as a possible buyout by global cigarette giant Philip Morris International, the world’s largest tobacco company.

Last year, he was amongĀ  those named in court papers filed by the taxman as well as reports by the Auditor-General for failing to pay full tax.

The legal battle ended in a deal where the company agreed with KRA that it would sell its prime assets to bankroll the Sh2.9 billion tax arrears it owes.

He was also named among the richest people in the Mount Kenya region who supported the Uhuru Kenyatta campaign through Mount Kenya Foundation.