Ghosts of ‘dirty’ land deal return to haunt Wavinya Ndeti's bid

Members of Wande Youth Group in Machakos

Members of Wande Youth Group in Machakos addressing journalists in Mlolongo on July 6, 2022. They accused Machakos gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti of taking their money in a fraudulent land deal in 2008, when she was the Kathiani MP.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

A group of protesters from Mavoko, Kathiani, EPZ and Athi River have accused Machakos gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti (Wiper) of taking their money in a fraudulent land deal in 2008, when she was the Kathiani MP.

They said Ms Ndeti had promised each one of them a 25 by 100 feet plot if they paid Sh20,000 to be enlisted as members of Wande Land Scheme.

The land in Mavoko Constituency has, however, never been transferred to the members, they added. They told the Nation that they diligently saved up and paid the money to the treasurer of the scheme, hoping to get title deeds as soon as they completed paying the Sh20,000. They claimed the property, measuring over 100 acres, was sold to tycoons who built warehouses at Mavoko Business Park.

“Ms Ndeti told us to contribute money in order to get plots. After saving that money, when she became MP, she sold the land. We live in slums yet our plots were sold to other people. We do not want to hear of Wavinya’s name again,” Ms Beth Mumbi.

‘Conned hard-earned money’

Ms Patricia Njoki said they could not allow someone who had conned them out of their hard-earned money to be their next governor. She said the deal sounded so good that many of them took loans from friends and relatives to secure more than one plot. Some even claimed to have offered to buy parcels on behalf of their friends.

Ms Joyce Syowai said she took a Sh30,000 loan from her brother, then topped it up with another Sh42,000 she had received from eight of her friends.

“We were contributing money to buy land as advised by our MP, Ms Wavinya Ndeti. I gave a total of Sh72,000. I would contribute a small amount every time members had a meeting. I raised the amount in two months. Then one day, when we wondered why the same plots were being given to strangers, we were chased away by the police, who lobbed tear gas canisters at us. My leg was injured as I tried to run away,” she said.

Lavish lifestyle

That was the last they heard about the land, she said. No one, according to Ms Syowai, ever followed up on the matter. They added that a man, identified as Mulinge, who used to record their payments, is today known for his lavish lifestyle.

“I was left in big trouble when the deal went awry. My brother, alongside some friends who had given me their money, were on my neck. I had to refund the money,” she said. When the Nation contacted Ms Ndeti, a man who claimed to be her close aide dismissed the allegations, terming them part of plans by former State House Chief of Staff Mr Nzioka Waita, who is also seeking the Machakos governor’s seat, to smear her reputation.

“Waita is panicking, he knows the ground is hostile to him. He is behind all these things, including funding the numerous court cases seeking to discredit Wavinya,” he said.

Reached for comment, Mr Caleb Kaka, Mr Waita’s spokesperson, dismissed the claims, saying, Ms Ndeti should deal with the complaints instead of dragging Mr Waita’s name in to her mess.

“We are busy working on our campaign strategy and can’t spend time commenting on things we know nothing about,” Mr Kaka told the Nation.