70-year-old widow jailed for stealing co-wife’s title deed

Naomi Wangui Muchai

Naomi Wangui Muchai in a Nairobi Court.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

A 70-year-old widow has been jailed for four years for stealing her co-wife’s title deed for a piece of land valued at Sh80 million.  

Ms Naomi Wangui Muchai, was convicted for stealing the title deed six years ago. She was, however, slapped with an alternative penalty of Sh550,000 fine by Milimani Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on Monday.

Ms Wangui was convicted of stealing, conspiracy to defraud, forgery, altering and attempting to transfer the disputed parcel of land which is registered under Ms Mary Wanjiru Muchai.

The court noted that the parcel of land was subject of a High Court succession case pending before Lady Justice Maureen Odero. 

In the matter before Justice Odero, defense lawyers Samson Nyaberi and Sango Maewa said the accused, her co-wife and their children are battling over the sub-division of the estate of their late husband Samuel Muchai.

 Land ownership 

“I note that the Will left behind by the late Samuel Muchai is being contested and the issues pertaining to the ownership of the land subject of this criminal trial will be determined,” Mr Ochoi ruled.

Justice Odero will hear the succession case on May 24, 2022.

Asking the court not to commit the accused to a custodial sentence, Mr Nyaberi said Ms Wangui was sickly.

“My client was married to the deceased (Samuel Muchai) in 1968 and has been the manager of the family estate until the demise of their husband,” Mr Nyaberi stated.

Non-custodial sentence

The convict, the court heard, deserves a non-custodial sentence due to her advanced age and poor health condition. The court ordered Ms Wangui to pay a Sh550,000 fine or serve 47 months in jail for default.

She was convicted for stealing a title deed number 62455 IR number 3102929 the property of Mary Wanjiru Muchai on June 23, 2016 from Ms Wanjiru’s Garden Estate home.

She was also convicted of conspiring with others to defraud her co-wife of her parcel of land in South East Kahawa Station.

The court also convicted her for attempting to register the land by presenting a forged letter of transfer to a senior land registrar.

The judge ordered Ms Wangui to deposit a cash bail of Sh20,000 in court to be used as part of the fine.

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