Mr. Geoffrey Kiragu is the founder of Lesedi Developers
Mr. Geoffrey Kiragu, the founder of Lesedi Developers.

Mr. Geoffrey Kiragu is the founder of Lesedi Developers, which is based in Thika. Lesedi Developers is a real estate company that sold non-existent plots in Juja, Kiambu, and Nakuru, leaving potential land buyers and homeowners in a vulnerable position and with millions of shillings in bank loans to repay.

"If you are an avid reader, it's possible that you are familiar with the history of Enron Corporation. When I first started Lesedi Developers four years ago, one of the people who motivated me to do so was the company's founder, Kenneth Lay.

"He may have his shortcomings, but I learn a lot of business principles from him," Mr. Kiragu said early last month in an interview with the Nation when we reached out to him with charges that he had scammed customers out of one billion shillings (Sh1 billion).

Tens of investors who were questioned by Nation for this story and who presented receipts and legal agreements with Lesedi Developers said that they have been left exposed after parting with their hard-earned cash but do not now hold either the land or the title deed to the property. When investors ask for their money back, some of them are given checks that bounce when they try to cash them.

According to Mr. Festus Waigwa Muraya, 38, from Nyeri, who spoke to Nation about his experience, he learned about Lesedi Developers via the aggressive social media marketing that the company conducted in 2017. It was promoted through vernacular radio stations and by renowned people who have a lot of influence.

"There was no reason for me to have any doubts about them due to the fact that the business agreement seemed to be legitimate and notable individuals were publicising their ventures."

"Before beginning their campaign to get their followers to purchase the property, I believed they had conducted the necessary research on the firm in question.

"You only needed to pay Sh30,000 and clear the total cost of the land—which was Sh320,000—within three months," said Mr. Muraya, who has been chasing after the company for a refund since this time last year. "The down payment that was needed for a 40-by-80-foot plot in Muthaara, Juja Constituency, was also affordable because you only needed to pay Sh30,000,"

He went on to say that "worse still, after completing payment for the land in March of last year and visiting the plot that I had been shown and reassessing the land, I noticed that the plot was 30 by 76 and not 40 by 80 as was agreed upon in the contract," he notes. "It has been more than one hundred and eighty days, but he still does not have access to the title deed that he was told would be ready in that amount of time. After some time had passed, he learned that another person had been allotted the same parcel of land."

Mr. Robert Kingori, encouraged by the same frenetic advertising, made a purchase from Lesedi Developers in April of the previous year for plot number 158 in Muthaara in Juja, which is located in Kiambu County.

It was supposed to be 40 feet wide by 80 feet long, but after he finished paying for the land in full, he has not been issued with a title deed, and the company has not given him the full refund that it had promised to do for dissatisfied investors, of which he is one. The land was supposed to measure 40 feet by 80 feet.

Ms. Elizabeth Wanjiku is deep in thought as she examines the contract she signed with Lesedi Developers for a 40-by-80 plot at the beginning of April of the previous year. She had already made the payment of 350,000 shillings and hoped to be reunited with her family.

She had high hopes that she would be given a title document and be able to start construction, but she subsequently found out that the property she had been shown had already been twice allotted to another individual and was the subject of a legal dispute. "All I want is a complete refund since even the piece of land that I was assured by Lesedi Developers was mine is now being challenged by another individual."



"They have been leading me around in circles. We want the government to step in since the firm keeps advertising the same schemes over the radio in order to deceive more individuals," she added.

A mother named Fidelis Njeri Thuku thought that she would no longer need to pay rent by the time the year 2021 came to a close. She was able to realise her dream of purchasing a home by securing financing for the purchase.

She agreed to a deal with Lesedi Developers under which the business would construct for her a house with two bedrooms in the Jacaranda Ridge Estate neighbourhood of Muthaara in Juja. Jacaranda Ridge Estate is a residential development.

She handed over 1.8 million shillings, but the firm has not yet delivered the promise. She was assured that she would get a refund, but the corporation has been issuing her faulty cheques, and each one has been returned unpaid.

"Up to this point, the corporation has not refunded me a single cent. The fact that the corporation continues to keep me waiting despite the fact that I am having trouble repaying my loan and maintaining my daily duties is really upsetting to me. According to what Ms. Njeri has stated, "I want them to restore my money without any additional delays so that I may settle somewhere." In February of the previous year, Mr. Anthony Mwaura was on his way to work when he decided to listen to one of the vernacular radio stations.

When Lesedi Developers wanted to attract possible investors for its projects in Kiambu and Nakuru, they went on the radio and enlisted the help of a well-known influencer.

After falling for the sales pitch, Mr. Mwaura used the remainder of the day to persuade his wife that they needed to make an investment in the land given that the offer was competitively priced.

After a week had passed, he spent Sh1.05 million to purchase two pieces that were marketed as being 40 by 80 feet in size, but, after consulting with an experienced surveyor, he discovered that the parcels really measured 30 by 76 feet. Mr. Mwaura is one of several investors who have lost approximately one million shillings to Lesedi Developers as a result of non-existent land. He does not have a title document, and his money has been taken.

Last week, investors attacked the headquarters of Lesedi Developers in Thika, accusing the business of breaking its promise to reimburse them and demanding their money back.

This comes as a result of the failure of law enforcement to apprehend Mr. Kiragu, despite the fact that the case was brought to the attention of Mr. Joseph Thuvi, the official in charge of criminal investigations in Thika.

Last week, the detective disclosed that his agency had received multiple complaints against Lesedi Developers; nevertheless, he remained tight-lipped on the current state of investigations into the company.

Mr. Ryan Marvin Karanja, an investor in Lesedi Developers, was granted Sh1.5 million by the court in December of the previous year after he sued the firm, seeking a complete refund in addition to the interest and cost of the litigation. He had sued the company in December of the previous year.

This came about as a result of the company's breach of the contract that they had entered into with him for the sale of a parcel of land, which the company later sold to another customer at a price that was double what Mr. Karanja had paid for it, despite the fact that Mr. Karanja had already paid for it in full.

Lesedi developers property

Director of Tunza Realtors Limited

According to Nation, Mr. Kiragu has already created a second land-selling firm called Tunza Realtors Limited. This company is selling property in the same area as Lesedi Developers, which has resulted in multiple allocations of land.

When contacted the local publication Nation about the new enterprise that is actively promoting the plots on vernacular radio and television, Mr. Kiragu confessed that he controls the new business along with another unidentified director. The plots are being aggressively marketed on vernacular radio and television.

However, he claimed that there was no legal impropriety in holding two different businesses at the same time.

"The dispute that has been going on between Lesedi Developers and its investors has no business being brought up in the context of Tunza Realtors, which I co-own with another investor. Concerning the problem of Lesedi, we are experiencing difficulties with the individuals to whom we have sold land, but we are confident that the situation will be resolved in the near future. 


"I concur that we have sold land with a value of approximately one billion shillings, and we apologise to the investors for any misunderstanding this may have caused. Give us some time, and we will deliver," stated Mr. Kiragu.

Ther has disagreement between Lesedi Developers and its partners, who were mostly the persons from whom the business purchased the property, arose as a result of the fact that the company did not live up to its end of the arrangement.

According to the terms of the agreement, Lesedi Developers was tasked with locating a prime parcel of land, marketing it as their own after initially paying the owner 10% of the total cost of the land, and eventually repaying the owner the remaining 90% of the purchase price as customers purchased land from Lesedi.

The fact that prospective purchasers were paying for the property directly to Lesedi rather than via an escrow account was the source of the issue, since this put the landowner and buyers in a precarious position.

Recently, a developer in Juja demolished the home of an investor who had finished paying for the plot; however, Lesedi Developers had not yet transferred the money to the landowner. The investor's home was destroyed.

A similar script is being followed in Nakuru, where Lesedi is marketing land investments. Mr. Kiragu is alleging that the property they acquired had complications, putting the investors in danger of losing millions of shillings in a land transaction that went bad.  

In Malindi, Kilifi Lesedi developers have alleged to have massive land going by Sh 70,000 per plot. However, nobody has been able to find out the truth and none had his/her plot in Malindi.

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