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Widow, 70, jailed for stealing co-wife’s title deed

A widow has been sentenced to serve four-years imprisonment for stealing her co-wife’s title deed.

In default, Naomi Wangui Muchai, 70, who was convicted for stealing the title deed in the names of Mary Wanjiru Muchai, was slapped with a Sh550,000 fine by Milimani senior principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi.

The parcel of land in question is worth Sh80million.

Ochoi convicted her in seven counts of stealing, conspiracy to defraud, forgery, uttering and attempting to transfer the disputed parcel of land.

Mr Ochoi observed the same parcel of land is subject of a high court succession case pending before Lady Justice Maureen Odero of the Family Division.

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

“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.

Begging the magistrate not to commit Naomi to a custodial sentence, Mr Nyaberi said she is sickly and for a long time she had been the manager of the family estate of the deceased who took her hand in marriage in 1968.

“My client was married to the deceased in 1968 and has been the manager of the family estate until the demise of their husband Samuel Muchai,” Nyaberi stated adding, “together they had begotten six issues (children).”

The magistrate heard four of her children are residing in Kenya and two overseas doing consultancy which was adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020-2021.

Nyaberi presented a bundle treatment notes from Indian hospitals and local health facilities in respect to Naomi.

The widow, the court heard, deserves a none-custodial sentence due to her age (now she is 70) and health condition.

In his sentence Ochoi said the widow is sickly and will therefore be ordered to pay a fine of Sh550,000 or serve 47 months in jail for default.

Naomi was convicted for stealing a title deed number 62455 IR number3102929 the property of Mary Wanjiru Muchai on June 23 2016.

She stole the title deed from Wanjiru’s Garden Estate home.

On the same date she was convicted for conspiring with others to defraud Wanjiru her parcel of land valued at Sh80million at South East Kahawa Station.

The court also convicted her for attempting to registered the land by presented a forged letter of transfer to a senior land registrar Fredrick Indoko Lubullellah.

Ochoi ordered the cash bail of Sh20,000 deposited in court by Naomi be used as part of the fine.