Charles Ngetich

Charles Ngetich in court during a case relating to issuing a title deed to Marline Coram Pownali. Mr Ngetich’s appears in several cases related to land. 

| File | Nation Media Group

Charles Kipkirui Ngetich: Dark history of official named in Mavoko land saga

What you need to know:

  • Charles Kipkirui Ngetich’s name features in many cases related to bogus allocations and cancellations.
  • Mr Ngetich’s name has appeared in the Mavoko land saga in which hundreds of buildings were torn down last week following a court order.

If there was a time for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to launch a radical surgery and save Kenyans from fraudsters, it was three years ago when Justice Sila Munyao said the ministry could not be trusted to keep records.

He made the statement in a case that featured Mr Charles Kipkirui Ngetich.

Mr Ngetich had appeared before the Environment Court in Nakuru over a 12-year battle between Ol Jorai company and Solai Ruiyobei Farm and Lands Ltd.

He told the court that he was not in a position to tell if the title deeds of Ol Jorai Community were authentic, blaming lack of records.

Justice Munyao expressed shock on learning that officials at the ministry could not explain the files they themselves had been keeping for Kenyans.

“I don’t understand why such officers are engaged by the state when they are unable to respond to basic issues in their dockets,” Justice Munyao said.

In the judgment, which eventually saw 3,300 title deeds issued to Ol Jorai Community members revoked, Justice Munyao said Kenyans should worry about their land documents as the custodian could not be trusted.

The judge added that land officials knew very little of what happened at the registry.

“If such could happen under the watch of the Chief Land Registrar and the Director of Survey, we have a reason to worry. Can the custodians of land files be entrusted by the public to keep straight records?” he asked.


A woman wails uncontrollably as her house in East African Portland in Mavoko was being demolished.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Mr Ngetich’s name has appeared in the Mavoko land saga in which hundreds of buildings were torn down last week following a court order.

The court ruled that the occupants built the houses on land belonging to the East African Portland Cement (EAPCC).

When the Sunday Nation toured Mavoko, it witnessed families in tears as they watched earth movers destroy their houses.

With the outcry over the manner in which families were being thrown out in the cold as rain pounded Mavoko, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) summoned 30 individuals to record statements.

The DCI says it wants to be furnished with information on how land belonging to the cement firm ended up in private hands.

Still in Mavoko, on the opposite side of the expansive EAPCC land, a group calling itself Mulinge Residents Welfare Association is also crying foul.

The group accuses Mr Ngetich of issuing double title deeds, illegal revocation of titles and cancelling allotments unlawfully.

In one instance, Mr Ngetich penned a letter to the Director of Survey, cancelling six title deeds. Six families were rendered landless in one fell swoop.

“Registration status of deed plan numbers 451525, 451526, 451690, 451691 of LR 32881-32884 remains unregistered by the Department of Land Registration,” the letter signed by Mr Ngetich on behalf of the Land Registrar and seen by the Sunday Nation reads.

“Kindly proceed and cancel the above deed plans.”.

The letter was written on October 5, 2022 and received by the Director of Survey on the same day.

Mr Ngetich was moved from Ardhi House in Nairobi to Kuria Lands office, Migori County.

The Sunday Nation has established that Mr Ngetich’s name also appeared on the forged documents that saw a family property in Westlands, Nairobi County, destroyed by an auctioneer.

Documents in our possession show that Mr Ngetich, who is amongst the 30 individuals who recorded statements with the DCI over the Mavoko saga days ago, is the same registrar whose signature is on a forged title deed that led to the destruction of property that belongs to Mr Niraj Shah and Ms Avani Shah.

In the forged title, the land registrar certified that the LR250041 belonged to Lariak Properties Ltd. It was done on August 3, 2022.

The payment for this as per the records is Sh106,000.

Over 100 structures built on Portland Cement land in Mavoko destroyed

It all began on December 7, 2022, when Mr Samuel K Chepkwony – one of the directors of Lariak Company – swore an affidavit prepared by T. K. Rutto and Co advocates.

The other directors of the company as per records are Joel Kimaiyo Rotich, Joel Kipchirchir and Nathaniel Kipkemboi.

Contacted this week, T. K. Rutto and Co Advocates told the Sunday Nation that Mr Chepkwony is its client

In the affidavit, the estate of Batuk Lakhamshi Laijisha – now deceased – is listed as the plaintiff while Lariak Properties is the defendant.

“I, Samuel Chepkwony, do hereby take oath as follows; That I am one of the Directors (plaintiff in the counter-claim), have authority and I am conversant with the facts of this case hence complement to swear this affidavit,” reads part of the affidavit.

It further says he has read and been explained to the contents of the defendant’s counter-claim and wishes to state “the averments herein to be true”.

It is worth noting that among the four directors of the company, Mr Chepkwony and Mr Joel Kimaiyo are being sought by police over the matter.

However, Mr Kipchirchir and Mr Kipkemboi are out on bail.

A report released by the Nairobi City County Assembly this week suggests that the title deed used by the auctioneer – Zacharia Baraza – to kick the family from its Westlands residence was forged.

“The Ministry of Land and the County Government Lands Office to reconstruct the file belonging to LR. No. 1870/111/46 in the name of Batuk L. Shah who is the bona fide registered owner within three months from the date of this report,” says the recommendations by the Sectoral Committee on Planning and Housing.

During the fact-finding mission, the Deputy Chief Land Registrar appeared before the committee and gave details of the property ownership.

The deputy registrar said the title for LR 1870/111/46 was first registered on April 5, 1949 in favour of Michel Lubiez.

It was in subsequent years transferred to various individuals until October 29, 1976 when it was transferred to Batuk Lali Shah, the committee was informed.


A man watches helplessly as a bulldozer brings down his house in East African Portland land in Mavoko on October 14, 2023.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

According to the Land Ministry official, the property has had a number of mortgages attached to it. The mortgages were subsequently cleared.

Under cap 281, Batuk Shah on October 31, 2000, surrendered in exchange for a new grant title number IR84817, which had a term of 50 years from September 1998. The annual rent is Sh17,360.

Interestingly, the official said, the records of the property later vanished from the ministry.

He added that the DCI wrote to the Ministry of Lands to find out if Lariak Properties owned the property.

The ministry responded, saying there was no such ownership and that a party or parties had attempted to tamper with the register.

“According to the Ministry, Batuk Shah is the bona fide registered owner of the piece of land located on School Lane in Parklands Highridge ward,” the ministry told police.

Mr Ng’etich’s name also features in a case in which Mr Francis Njeru, a contractor in Nairobi, is accused of conspiracy to defraud Siesta Investment Ltd of 2.591 hectares on Mombasa Road.

According to the prosecution, Njeru and others falsely procured the parcel’s registration using LR Number 176998 LR 20273 in the name of Simon Mbilu.

The forged title deed bears the name and signature of Mr Ngetich.

In yet another incident, Mr Ngetich unsuccessfully lost a petition to block the Director of Public Prosecutions and the DCI from arresting and arraigning him for fraud in 2021.

Justice Weldon Korir declined to grant the conservatory orders sought.

The application by Mr Ngetich was on account of his involvement as a land registration officer in the documentation of interest over a property known as Kinango/Tsunza Settlement Scheme/18 and other sub-divisions in respect of the same property to which he participated in their conveyance in his official capacity.

“I am, therefore, not convinced that the applicant has established that the respondents seek to arrest and prosecute him. Furthermore, I do not believe that the applicant is in danger of suffering any prejudice if conservatory orders are not granted,” Justice Korir said.

“Additionally, it must be remembered that the respondents are creatures of the Constitution and the laws of this country. They have mandates to execute. Unless it is demonstrated that they have overstepped their boundaries, conservatory orders will not issue. Issuance of undeserved orders will result in stoppage and delay of the functions of the respondents to the detriment of the public good. The applicant has not shown that the respondents have violated the Constitution in this case.”

The Sunday Nation contacted Mr Ngetich on his phone number for comments but he did not respond to our calls or messages.

However, Lands Principal Secretary, Nixon Korir, informed the Sunday Nation that any employee found to have broken the law must leave the ministry.

“We cannot deny the fact that a few members of staff might be involved in fraud. I can assure you that if anyone is found guilty, he or she will have no option but to leave immediately,” Mr Korir said.

Lands Cabinet Secretary, Alice Wahome, echoed the sentiments of the PS, adding that those occupying public land must vacate immediately.

She also warned Kenyans against buying property whose certificates are shared.