In 2021 and for the first half of 2022, Geoffery Kiragu was on top of the real estate world in Central Kenya.
His real estate company, Lesedi Developers Ltd gave him leverage to tell his story. He projected himself as the toast of the sector, offering prime plots at affordable prices.
If he was not propping up his brand in media interviews, he was shuttling between places to attract potential clients.
He explained how he had tried his hand in other businesses like retail and farming before striking gold in real estate. It was too good and everyone dropped the ball.
With his outsized ambitions, Kiragu was stopping at nothing. In December 2021, Lesedi was supposedly peddling not less than 50 projects littered in places like Juja, Thika, and Kenol.
He boasted in a Business Daily interview of building a real estate business without taking loans.
But the script could only hold for so long.
In the second part of 2022, his success story started to be smudged by complaints from investors, and in January 2023, he has nowhere to hide.
The number of unsatisfied customers started with just a fraction but today it has ballooned to unimaginable proportions, the highlight of this long con game being last week when dozens of investors stormed the company’s office in Thika to demand their title deeds or refunds. The firm ignored them.
Some buyers have since learned that tens of plots that they have fully paid for have double allocation.
It is estimated Kiragu and the gang have pocketed Ksh1 billion in this fraud and deceit.
Kiragu pulled off this through top Kikuyu celebrities, who ran aggressive social media campaigns, and exaggerated adverts in leading vernacular radio and TV stations.
It is now feared that buyers purchased non-existent land.
While Lesedi claims the fiasco is normal and solvable, rumours that Kiragu is slowly dissolving the company to start another one have left investors shaking.
It is confirmed that Kiragu has registered Tunza Realtors Ltd to replace Lesedi, though he asserted that the two companies are distinct.
Commenters are predicting that Tunza will be selling the same plots already sold to Lesedi buyers.