Alleged Fake Lawyer Brian Mwenda Is Accused of Stealing a Real Lawyer's Identity

A man in Kenya who is going by Brian Mwenda has apparently won a flurry of cases in court, even though he's actually a fake lawyer.


Oct. 17 2023, Published 11:03 a.m. ET

The Gist:

  • A man going by the name Brian Mwenda in Kenya has been accused of practicing law without any sort of license, and actually winning cases.
  • The man is also accused of stealing the identity of a real lawyer named Brian Mwenda Ntwiga.
  • The man has maintained his innocence, and said that he will be able to clarify what exactly is going on once he speaks to relevant authorities. In the meantime, he is facing prosecution.
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In October 2023, news broke that legal experts in Kenya are encouraging authorities to arrest a man who is currently going by Brian Mwenda. The experts accuse this man of being a "masquerader" who's pretending to be a lawyer even though he lacks any of the necessary qualifications.

Given how strange and outlandish this story appeared to be, many wanted to learn more about who this man who claims to be Brian Mwenda actually is, and how he has managed to get by pretending to be a lawyer for so long. As it turns out, for a fake lawyer, he's pretty good.

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A Kenyan flag billowing in the wind.
Source: Getty Images

Who is fake Kenyan lawyer Brian Mwenda?

Legal authorities in Kenya have accused this man, who claims to be Brian Mwenda, of stealing the identity of an actual lawyer named Brian Mwenda Ntwiga. And, according to local media, this fake Brian has won "dozens" of lawsuits even though he doesn't appear to have any formal training in the law.

Since the story first broke, it has understandably captivated Kenya, with many decrying the identity theft even as others are bemused by the entire story.

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Among this man's supporters is Mike Sonko, the controversial former governor of the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. In a video posted to social media, Mike is standing next to the man, who delivers a statement insisting that he is innocent.

"I would like to convey my gratitude to the people that are supporting me and praying for me... in the fullness of time I will be able to clear this misunderstanding," he said.

"I will be also be able to provide my innocence and provide the actual context," he added.

He also added that he was "hoping" to go to the police station on Oct. 16 or Oct. 17 to make a statement related to the charges against him.

Although he has his supporters, this apparently fake lawyer is also facing prosecution over the allegations that he was practicing law without a license.

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Source: Twitter/@mikesonko

Renson Mulele Ingonga, Kenya's director of public prosecutions, wrote, "I have directed the Inspector General of the National Police Service to undertake expedited comprehensive investigations."

He also added that while this case may be the most high profile, it doesn't appear to be unique in Kenya at the moment.

Unique or not, the news that a man was pretending to be a lawyer and successfully winning cases is understandably a captivating narrative. While most lawyers require years of careful training to understand the law, this man apparently needed no formal training to begin commanding the courtroom.

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