Former Tetu MP Ndungu Gethenji denied forgery charges after he failed to take plea three times giving different excuses.
He appeared virtually before Milimani chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku and pleaded not guilty to one count of fogery against the law.
The court was informed that the accused committed the offense on November 21,2018 with an intention of deceiving.
Ndungu is said to have forged minutes of the meeting of Kihingo Village (WARIDI GARDENS)Management One Ltd.
Mutuku who had postponed plea taking three times released him on a bond of 100,000, a surety of the same amount or a cash bail of Sh20,000.
When the matter was first mentioned on December 1,2020,Ndungu informed the court that he had been exposed to someone who had Covid-19 and he sought for differal of plea for 14 days.
After 14 days lapsed he again told the court that his mother in law had passed away and he needed more time to mourn which he was granted.
When the matter came again before Mutuku on Monday,the former MP informed the court that they are trying to solve the matter out of court and was granted last adjournment.
Mutuku ruled that if at all the negotiations fails, he will have to be charged as earlier intended.
Court file had gone missing on December 14,2020 containing Ndungu’s detail but was later found after several hours.The magistrate adjourned the case to allow the two brothers to settle out of court. However, forgery is a criminal matter and not a civil matter that can be settled through arbitration.
Mutuku on December 17,2020 directed the prosecution to supply the former MP with the charge sheet and copies of witness statements.
The magistrate then recused herself as she is also involved in another case where Ndungu is charged with assaulting Kishore Varsani and Prof George Wajackoyah within Kihingo estate.
Wajackoyah is a witness in that case but holds a watching brief in the fraud case on behalf of the Kihingo residents. Mutuku considered that to be a potential conflict of interest.
Ndungu’s elder brother Fredrick Gitahi Gethenji, company secretary Charles Ngugi Njenga, businessman Julius Chacha, company secretary Wairimu Waiyaki and sergeant William Amayo have been listed as witnesses in the case.
Kihingo Village in Kitisuru consists of 55 houses, with owners each having one share in the management company, a club house and social amenities.
The alleged forgery concerned attempts to make businessman Chacha Mabanga a director of Kihingo Village (Waridi Gardens) Management One that purported to hold 60 B shares in Kihingo Village(Waridi Gardens) Management that controls the estate.
If Chacha had become a director of KVWGM1, Ndungu could possibly have sidelined his brother Gitahi who was the other director of the company in which they each hold one share.
On August 6, 2019, Gitahi complained to the Registrar of Companies that he was not present at an alleged board meeting of KVWGM1 on November 21, 2018, that appointed Chacha as a director nor was he notified about the meeting.
On July 28, 2016, arbitrator John Ohaga ruled that there should be no B shares and only 55 ordinary shares, one for each house on the estate. Arbitration rulings are binding and cannot be subsequently challenged. The award has not been appealed by Ndungu although he lost an application to set it aside.
The Kihingo estate was originally developed by Kihingo Village (Waridi Gardens) Limited. The equal shareholders in that company were Ndungu, Gitahi, Bob Gethenji and their mother. The three other family members agreed that there should only be 55 ordinary shares and no B shares.
Ndungu alleges that the bitter battle for control of Kihingo is a result of residents disputing his ownership of the large clubhouse at the estate. Yet there is no separate title for the clubhouse and his family would be entitled to equal shares in the clubhouse even if there were.