Monday, May 27, 2024

Chief witness ‘a pathological liar who tricked woman into marriage’

Chief witness’ Dennis Ngengi’s estranged wife has told police he conned her into marriage.

Dennis Ngengi is not his real name – DCI investigators have established the correct one is Charles Karanja from Mathira, Nyeri county.

The woman named Damaris Karuitha told officers at the DCI she was convinced the man was a security officer based at State House.

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She had come across several images of a person who resembles Karanja seated behind President Uhuru Kenyatta during government functions.

“They were posted on his Facebook page, affirming my belief that my husband was a security officer,” she said.

It wasn’t until officers from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit caught up with Karuitha in Nairobi that it emerged the person in dark spectacles, who sat behind the President, was not the father of her children.

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The businesswoman said Karanja, who has several aliases, visited her Nairobi home several times and would receive calls from a number he had saved as H.E.

This is the acronym for His Excellency and Karuitha said her former husband would tell her he was speaking to Uhuru.

She told the investigators that she met Karanja in 1996 while working in Nanyuki.

The then young, eloquent, charming and smartly dressed man introduced himself as a military officer and promised to marry Karuitha and relocate her to Nairobi.

The woman said she could not resist his overtures and soon found herself in his house as a wife and mother of two.

Police told her on Tuesday that the man she once loved only looked like a member of the President’s security team.


The man became infamous after members of the public realised he had appeared on TV as the witness of two high profile accidents.

These were the Lake Nakuru helicopter crash that left five people dead and the accident that claimed Nyeri Governor Wahome Gakuru’s wife.

Police arrested Karanja and it has since been said he is a habitual liar thrilled by the attention he generates.

Detectives have unmasked the man who catapulted himself to the limelight by picking aliases similar to the names of the President’s family members.

The man’s sister also confirmed with police that his real name is Charles Karanja.

In statements to police, Nancy Wanja described Karanja as a “pathological liar who masquerades as a military officer or police officers attached to the President’s escort”.

She said he dropped out of class seven and insisted he never enlisted as a police officer or soldier. She said she did not know what 40-year-old father did for a living.


Karanja was born and raised in Chaka and Karatina towns

He had six siblings before his father John Ndege met the love of his life in 1980 in Chaka, Nyeri county.

They got married and moved to Embu in 1989, leaving his son at his maternal uncle’s home in Karatina where he attended school. He would visit his parents in Embu from time to time.

Uncle Francis Njogu, whose house Karanja grew up in, confirmed their relationship and his real name. He also told police he did not know what the man did for a living.

After his arrest last week, investigators almost took Karanja for a mental examination at Mathari hospital. This was after he took them to State House which he termed his home.

Guards at the gates of State House told police they had never seen Karanja and that he was not their colleague. Officers later established he lived in Kayole.

In another classic case of lying and conning, a bar owner in Kenol, Murang’a, told investigators Karanja tricked her into a relationship by pretending he was an influential State House operative.

Karanja frequented the woman’s establishment where he enjoyed free beers. He boasted in the presence of other patrons about speaking to the President on phone.

He had promised the businesswoman he would help her secure a contract worth millions of shillings with the government.

Police found several job applications in Karanja’s car and said he had promised people that he would help them secure employment.

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