Two women in battle over prime Nairobi property

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 00:00 |
Ex-MP to appear in court for assault charges Photo/PD/FILE

Eric Wainaina

There are many parallels between thriller movies and an unfolding dispute pitting businesswoman Agnes Kagure and another woman over ownership of a prime city property situated at Makadara on Jogoo Road, Nairobi.

The matter, subject of a battle at the Milimani Environment and Land Court, pits Kagure, who claims to have bought the land in 2015 and Ruth Wambui, who argues that the property belonged to her late husband, Francis Kimani Mungui alias Kimani Mungai.

Kagure, a gender activist and insurance executive, was among the people who were in April last year, being considered by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to succeed  Polycarp Igathe after he resigned as deputy governor.

But the matter has taken a bizarre twist after an interested party, Kimani Mungai, accused Wambui of “killing” him with a view to facilitating grabbing of the parcel of land which could be valued at more than Sh100 million. 

Wambui has filed the case “as an administrator of Francis Kimani Mungui alias Kimani Mungai’s estate, against Kagure, Chief Land Registrar as the first and second defendants as well as an interested party,  Kimani Mungai, and whose name is almost similar to Wambui’s alleged late husband.

According to court papers, Wambui argues that the property LR Number 209/4843/10, belonged to her husband Mungui, who she claimed died on October 26, 2010, after which “the ownership particulars of the parcel of land in question were (prior to the land parcel in question changing hands) in my name”. 

Mungai, who claims to have bought the land in 1997 and transferred it to Kagure in October 2015, accuses Wambui of forgery and “cooking” his death to disinherit his family and “facilitate the illegal seizure of a parcel of land”.

He terms the choice of a name identical to his as a “desperate effort by the authors of an extremely nefarious and fraudulent scheme to draw non-existent parallels where absolutely none exist,” adding that the schemers are desperate to create the impression that he is dead.

“Only extremely evil malcontents or outright assassins would go as far as ‘killing’ while still alive to disinherit my family.

For all the years I have lived, it had never occurred to me that such evil really exists. Indeed, I am still reeling in shock, as are members of my family and friends days after I saw Ruth Wambui Kimani’s daring deception in a sworn affidavit,” Mungai said.

Fraudulent transfer

According to him, he purchased the suit property from Kimemiah Engineering Construction Company and later sold it to Kagure and therefore, where Wambui “comes in is as unfathomable as it is confounding”.

“On or about October 7, 2015, a transfer was executed and the suit property dully registered in the name of the 1st defendant (Kagure).

I, therefore, confirm that I transacted with the first defendant in respect to the suit property,” reads his sworn affidavit dated September 3.

But Wambui claims that her late husband bought the land from the same company and on the same date as Mungai claims and accuses Kagure and the Chief Land Registrar of colluding and causing the fraudulent transfer. 

“On or about the year 2015, the defendants herein, without a colour of right, fraudulently colluded and caused the parcel of the land LR Number 209/4843/10 to be transferred to the 1st defendant (Kagure) allegedly for a consideration of Sh10, 000, 000,” reads part of Wambui’s affidavit dated August 30. 

She has asked the court to declare that the land belonged to her late husband and a title deed issued under his name or in the alternative and also order that Kagure be kicked out of the land. 

But Mungai argues that, if indeed, the land belonged to her family or registered in her deceased husband’s name as alleged in the suit papers, there was every evidence and authority for her to stop the sale that happened in 2015.

Wambui, a mother of 10, in her claims, which Mungai says are “wild and preposterous”, she said she was married in 1968 while Mungai, a father of three, says he was born on April 26, 1959, meaning he was barely nine years old when she got married.

“Certainly, therefore, by no stretch of the imagination, could I have qualified to become her husband unless in some bizarre fairy tale. Any attempt to frame me as a possible spouse of the said Ruth Wambui Kimani—dead or alive—is a joke extended a little too far.

Such a claim can only begrime from a dead conscience and septic imagination. As they say, even telling lies calls for some intelligence,” Mungai said yesterday.

Travels regularly

Mungai, who describes himself as a self-respecting adult of sound mind and a resident of Nairobi City who travels regularly to the United States, claims to have learnt of the suit through an advertisement published in the local dailies on August 29.

The land has been subjecting of another suit Environmental and Land Case 248 of 2012 pitting Joseph Mwangi Njeri as the plaintiff and Kimani Mungai as the defendant.

Mwangi, in an affidavit which he swore on May 10, 2012, said his business occupied about 0.10 acre of the plot which he claimed to have occupied in 1994 and lived on by the date of the suit. 

In the case in which Lady Justice R.  Ogutu said that Mwangi was unable to adduce any evidence to prove his entitlement to the property, Kimemia filed an affidavit in favour of Mungai.

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