The Ksh. 100 million property that crumbled Waititu’s Empire

Cecilia Njoki Mbugua receiving the certificate of lease for her parcel of land from the Ombudsman’s Chairperson Florence Kajuju on September 23, 2019.

One of the key pieces of evidence that helped convict Governor Ferdinand Waititu was that he dispossessed Cecilia Njoki Mbugua, a widow, of her Sh 100 million property in Thika town through blackmail.

Njoki only got her property back after the intervention of the Commission on Administrative Justice (Ombudsman).

Her predicaments started after she successfully applied for county approval to develop her property in 2013, only for the letter to be cancelled on grounds that it was public land, earmarked for construction of a jua kali market by the county government.

However, she successfully challenged the position at the Milimani courts in Nairobi but in another effort to frustrate her, Waititu forwarded her properties to the National Land Commission (NLC) for investigations as soon as the period for appeal was over.

Property surrendered In December 2017, she received a call from Waititu’s office informing her that the governor wanted to see her regarding the approvals, and during their meeting, he promised to approve them on condition that she surrendered two of the properties.

According to her testimony at the Ombudsman, Njoki said she agreed to surrender her land in Thika “under a lot of duress considering the fact that it had taken long to get the approval”.

A search conducted on the land on August 31, 2012 shows that it belonged to Njoki. A Green Card was tabled before the Senate as proof. But on January 2, 2018, a certificate of lease for land totalling to 0.135ha was issued in favour of Esther Wamuyu Nyatu, another woman alleged to be the governor’s second wife.

On September 23, 2019, the transfers were cancelled in favour of the widow and a certificate of lease issued under her name following the Ombudsman’s intervention.

The Chairperson of the Commission Florence Kajuju presented two tittle deeds for Thika Municipality Block XI/877 and 878 to Ms. Cecilia Njoki Mbugua which had been irregularly transferred by officials from the County Government of Kiambu. They also Ombudsman also directed the Kiambu County Government to expedite the long overdue approvals of the development plans to enable Ms Mbugua embark on her project.

Further, the Commission has called upon Land Registrars to exercise due diligence while conducting land transfers including inviting all interested parties for consent.

In this matter, Waititu breached the Constitution, Article 40, the right to property and the law in terms of abuse of office.
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