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Directors ‘forged’ land titles to grab late Magugu’s estate

By Zadock Angira
Wednesday, November 11th, 2020
Former Finance Minister, the late Arthur Kinyanjui Magugu. Photo/COURTESY
In summary
    • The original land in question measuring about 100 acres in Muthaiga, LR No.12422/9, was initially registered in the name of Magugu.
    • The report also states that in the alleged transfer, Magugu was never involved, a further proof that the transfer was fraudulent.

Directors of Karura Investments Limited forged titles to steal part of the land belonging to the family of former Cabinet Minister the late Arthur Magugu.

An investigation report by National Land Commission (NLC) reveals how company directors and a surveyor colluded to forge ownership documents to claim part of the land located in Muthaiga North near the Judiciary Training Institute.

NLC has also recommended that the land registrar expunge the title and that police prosecute the directors of KIL.

“There is a convincing explanation in this investigation report to enable the Chief Land Registrar to proceed and expunge and correct the registers and restore the title to the estate of Hon. Arthur Kinyanjui Magugu (deceased),” the report reads

The original land in question measuring about 100 acres in Muthaiga, LR No.12422/9, was initially registered in the name of Magugu.

Two portions

It was later sub-divided into two portions giving rise to LR No 12422/203 and LR No. 12422/204, both registered in the name of Magugu.

The latter was subsequently sub-divided into two portions giving rise to LR No. 12422/318 registered in the name of Magugu and LR No. 12422/319 registered in the name of KIL.

The report also states that in the alleged transfer, Magugu was never involved, a further proof that the transfer was fraudulent.

“No sale agreement is available as per requirement by law to prove the alleged sale transaction

On February 6 last year, Priscilla Wango of Survey Department wrote a letter referenced HC/NRB/329/2016/VOL.1/6 disowning KIL’s Deed plan and recommended cancellation and recalling of the same.

“The Deed Plan attached to the forged tittle is irregular and any subsequent documents procured pursuant to the same is technically a nullity,” the report states.

NLC also noted that the instruments of transfer date October 25, 1993 allegedly between Magugu and KIL has franking of stamp duty but during that time, only embossment was done.

“As at the time of purported registration, only embossment was done on instruments of transfer and not franking,” NLC said.

The speed at which the transfer was done has also baffled the NLC detectives.

“We are of the view that it is practically impossible to register a discharge, a transfer, a subdivision, value a parcel of land along Kiambu Road, asses stamp duty and pay the same all in less than three hours,” the report reads.

“To be specific by 11.27am all that had been done and titles LR 12422/204 and coincidentally LR No 12422/319 issued both on the same day,” it adds.

Parallel registration

According to the probe by the NLC, KIL purportedly obtained a parallel title registered as LR 12422/319 which title was allegedly obtained on October 25, 1993, the same date the Magugu was issued with a new certificate of LR No.12422/204.

KIL had just been incorporated about two months earlier, on August 2, 1993.

“The position is that LR 12422/319 is a forgery for the basic reason that Karura Investments Ltd vide the Kenya Gazette Notice No.4169 of June 20, 2014 applied for reconstruction of ‘lost/or destroyed land register’. These acts were an attempt to sanitise the record,” NLC said.

“It is my opinion that the validity of LR No.12422/319 held by Karura Investments Limited is questionable and we conclude that it is fraudulent,” the report reads. NLC noted that the deed file for LR12422/204 was missing.

Magugu’s widow Margaret Wairimu Magugu had earlier complained to the commission and again complained on June 18, 2020.

During the earlier investigations, the NLC in June 2015 wrote to KIL requesting them to furnish the NLC investigators with all the ownership documents of the piece of land they claimed.

The family of Magugu had earlier around 2017 gone to court but their suit was “not only an abuse of the process of Court but also statute barred”, according Justice Elija Obaga’s ruling in November 2017.