Wife of former Kenyan VP accused of land grabbing

Beatrice Karanja Nyindombi, the wife to former Kenyan Vice President Dr. Josephat Njuguna Karanja is embroiled in a feud over a 73-hectare piece of land in Kabarole district, Western Uganda.

Dr. Josephat Njuguna Karanja served as Kenya’s Vice President under Daniel arap Moi for 13 months between 1988 and April 1989 when he was forced by Parliament to resign. He died five years later.

Hussein Juma, a resident of Fort Portal accuses Nyindombi of grabbing his land measuring 73 hectares on Block 45, Plot 7 in Harugongo Sub County.

In a letter to the Commissioner Land Registration, Haruna Golooba,  Juma claims that Nyindombi took advantage of the money she lent him in 1990 when he fell sick.

He says that he asked Nyindombi to lend him Kenya Shs 12,000 to enable him get treatment. He returned to her seven years later with another request of Uganda Shs 1.15 million.

The two mutually agreed that Juma pays back the money when he gets it but he had to hand Nyindombi his land title as security.

In 2010, Juma stated, Nyindombi sought his permission to utilise the land as he looks for the money to pay her, a request he accepted but when he  finally got money to clear the debt in 2014, Nyindombi was nowhere to be seen.

Juma got suspicious of foul play in 2015 and decided to conduct a search on his title through his lawyers of V. Agaba Advocates.

The search results returned on December 2, 2015 showed that Juma was still the registered land owner until the following year when Nyindombi reportedly went to Juma’s home in Kasusu, Fort Portal Municipality with documents seeking for his signature authorizing her to evict settlers on the land.

“Later, I discovered that she had registered her mother, Serina Kesihere, on my title. She later transferred the land in her name. By her [Nyindombi] presenting documents full of falsehoods, she made your office make a mistake [of giving her a land title] because I have never sold any land to her and have never signed any sale agreement for my lease land,” reads Juma’s letter to the commissioner.

A source familiar with the matter told URN on condition of anonymity that after registering the land in her mother’s name, Nyindombi transferred it into her names in 2016 and acquired a freehold title for it, a copy of which URN has seen.

It is this land title that Juma wants cancelled by the Commissioner Land Registration in Kampala but his request hasn’t yielded results.  On July 7, 2019, Juma filed a complaint at Harugongo Police station where three cases of forging a land tittle, uttering false documents, and impersonation were opened against Nyindombi.

According to the Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigations Department at Fort Portal Central Police Station, Godliver Twinomugisha, officers from the Lands Department in the Criminal Investigations Directorate – CID Kampala picked up the case file on July 12, 2019 for perusal immediately it was delivered to her office.   Nyindombi couldn’t be traced for comment because her contacts are unknown.