Story Behind Viral Mischief Newspaper Obituary

An obituary announcing the death of Elizabeth Mueni Ngotho who passed away on April 12, 2022.
  • A newspaper obituary for one Elizabeth Mueni Ngotho went viral owing to the sardonic humour depicted in the eulogy. 

    Mueni passed away on April 12, 2022, at the age of 46 years.

    Her family, despite indicating that she was a unique and caring individual who touched many lives, did not cut her some slack by terming her troublesome. 

    “Mueni has now been reunited with her beloved father Anthony and her partner in crime, Peter, and they can get up to their typical mischief where they left off,†part of the obituary read.

    An obituary announcing the death of Elizabeth Mueni Ngotho who passed away on April 12, 2022.

    This statement ignited debate online, sparking curiosity about the deceased’s life. 

    According to the obituary, Mueni was born on January 8, 1976, to Anthony Athanas Ngotho and Bernice Kanini Ngotho. Her siblings are Peter Kyalo Ngotho, Bibiana Mbatha Somuyiwa, Jennifer Kamene Ngotho and James Muindi Ngotho. 

    Her father – Anthony who is reported to have been an influential businessman and architect in the country – and her brother Peter, passed away years before Mueni’s death. 

    “We warmly welcome family and friends to escort Mueni on her final journey. The cortège will depart Lee Funeral Home at 7:00am on 23 April 2022 for the funeral ceremony and burial, which will take place in Makiliva, Mwala in Machakos County,†the obituary read. 

    Questions were raised on what mischief Mueni and her brother Peter, were up to, to warrant her kins to plaster it on a newspaper circulated countrywide. 

    This article does not verify nor confirm the mischief directly referred to by the family but gives a glimpse into Mueni’s life as captured by court documents and cases. 

    Her family is reported to be wealthy, having several parcels of land with her father constructing buildings in Nairobi and its environs. 

    One case in the Environment and Land Court at Machakos, ELC. Case No.97 of 2011 notes that Mueni was sued for frustrating the sale of a parcel of land in Mavoko Town, Machakos County. 

    The two plaintiffs (her accusers), averred that they entered into an agreement with her on October 6, 2011, where the duo purchased the land for a sum of Ksh630,000. 

    According to the case, the two parties agreed that after paying the deposit of Ksh300,000, Mueni would provide the buyers with the original title deed, Land Control Board consent forms, a copy of her national identity card or passport and photographs signed and dated at the back.

    The two told the court that they paid the required deposit in accordance with the agreement and that Mueni, in an attempt to frustrate the sale “refused, ignored, and/or neglected to forward the said documents and instead purported to cancel the sale and to refund the deposit of the purchase price.†

    They asked the court to issue an order of injunction to restrain her and the second defendant from disposing of the suit property to other parties and an order of specific performance compelling them to comply with the provisions of the Sale Agreement dated October 6, 2010.

    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    The Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi as pictured on November 18, 2019
    Simon Kiragu

    Note that the dates of the sale contradict each other – October 6, 2010, and October 6, 2011, and this is as exactly indicated in the document. (Might be a typing error). 

    However, in their joint defence, Mueni and the second defendant averred that she did enter into a Sale Agreement with the Plaintiff on October 6, 2010; that the two accused duly complied with the terms of the Sale Agreement and that it is the buyers who failed to complete the Sale Agreement within the stipulated time, which was ninety (90) days.

    “The defendants finally averred that the plaintiffs having been refunded the deposit of the purchase price, the suit property changed hands and that an order of permanent injunction and specific performance cannot lie,” she stated in her submissions. 

    It was ruled that the accusers proved their case on a balance of probability and issued an order restraining the Mueni and the second defendant, their agents, servants and or representatives from selling, transferring, constructing and/or in any manner interfering with the parcel of land. 

    “Considering that the plaintiffs have been waiting to be furnished with the completion documents before they could pay the balance of the purchase price, the defendants cannot purport to rescind the Agreement of Sale between the plaintiffs and the 1st Defendant. Any such rescission is null and void.†

    Another case at the Environment and Land Court Case 456 of 2017 was heard via video conference on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. 

    In this case, Mueni, her mother Bernice Kanini Ngotho – who was mentioned in the obituary – and a third defendant were sued as the administrators of the estate of their late father, Anthony Athanas Ngotho. Third party individuals were also sued by one plaintiff. 

    Three land parcels in Mavoko Town were in contention. 

    The accuser claimed that she by agreements dated February 21, 2003, October 5, 2006, and November 18, 2006, respectively, purchased the three suit properties from their deceased father. 

    She further stated that she paid Ksh10,000, Ksh10,000 and Ksh8,000 respectively for the transfer of the three suit properties.

    In the document, she stated that the defendants herein were issued with grant of Letters of Administration for the estate on September 11, 2009, vide Milimani High Court Succession Cause No. 553 of 2007.

    “Whereof they were obligated to transfer the three suit properties to the plaintiff. It was her contention that the defendants have refused and failed to transfer the three suit properties to her causing her loss and damage.â€

    The accuser asked the court to direct Mueni, her mother and others to transfer the titles to her. 

    The defendants filed a statement of defence dated May 31, 2018, and filed in court on the same date. The defence was amended on July 16, 2019, and filed on July 17, 2019, pursuant to the court’s order made on July 10, 2019. 

    Undated file image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom
    File image of a gavel on the bench in the courtroom

    In the amended defence, Mueni, her mother and others denied the plaintiff’s claim and averred that her suit was time-barred under various Kenyan laws.  

    They conceded that the three suit properties were at one time owned by their late father. However, they denied there being any agreements between their father and the plaintiff in respect of the purchase of the three suit properties. 

    “They also denied the allegation that monies were paid for the purchase of the three suit properties as well as the transfer thereof. They further denied there being any written acknowledgement of receipts of payments by their father as alleged by the plaintiff. 

    “On those grounds, it was their case that the plaintiff was not entitled to the orders sought,†the case reads. 

    The court ruled that the accuser in the instant case did not place material before the court to establish that there was a principal/agent relationship between the lady who signed the impugned agreements and received the consideration.

    “I find and hold that she has failed to discharge both her legal and evidentiary burden to prove that she purchased the suit land from the late Ngotho. In any event, the name of the lady is not disclosed in the plaintiff’s evidence and does not even appear in the impugned agreements and receipts.

    “The upshot is that this suit lacks merit and the same is dismissed with costs,†the Judge ruled. 

    Nonetheless, other unverified allegations claim that the late Mueni and the family were embroiled in private wrangles before her death. 



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