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Ex-Tetu MP cleared of assault charges in Sh20bn estate row

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Former Tetu Member of Parliament James Ndung’u Gethenji at Milimani law courts on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The developer of the Sh20 billion Kihingo estate in Nairobi, James Ndung’u Gethenji is a freeman after a court exonerated him from an assault case.

Acquitting Mr Gethenji, a former MP for Tetu and the Chairman of Kihingo Village Waridi Gardens Management Limited, Chief magistrate Martha Mutuku said the case was sparked by an inheritance dispute pitting him against his elder brother, Gitahi Gethenji.

Ms Mutuku noted the ownership dispute of the multi-billion estate developed by Ndung’u Gethenji in 2017 is the subject of several High Court matters brought to her knowledge.

Mr Gethenji who was being defended by lawyers Ishmael Nyaribo and Willis Otieno had denied assaulting and causing actual bodily harm to businessman Mr Kishor Varsani at the Kihingo Estate.

Ms Mutuku said as a result of the differences between the two brothers, police waded into the dispute irregularly then charged Ndung’u without tangible evidence.

“The prosecution has failed to meet the legal threshold in the case against Mr Gethenji and six others,” Ms Mutuku ruled.

She said evidence tendered by witnesses was contradictory and never pointed at any of the seven accused persons.

Ms Mutuku said the complainant Mr Varsani said he was not assaulted by Mr Gethenji and Mr Chacha Mabanga, a director of Kihingo.

“Mr Varsani the owner of house number 58 told this court he was not assaulted by Mr Gethenji and Mr Mabanga,” Ms Mutuku said in her judgement.

“Gethenji and Mabanga were not among the six men who accosted Varsani on July 2, 2019, around 3.45 pm, assaulting him and tearing his pullover valued at Sh1,000,” Ms Mutuku noted.

When he testified before court Mr Varsani claimed he was rained blows and kicks by hirelings who also chased away four masons who were renovating his Sh58 million house which he bought in 2011 within Kihingo Estate.

“After examining all the evidence tendered in this case by the prosecution I find that there is no evidence to warrant this court to call upon the accused to defend themselves. I hereby acquit them under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code,” Ms Mutuku ruled.

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