The government is yet to pay the late Kenneth Matiba Sh945 million that the court awarded him for unlawful detention and torture in 1990s, lawyer Wanyiri Kihoro has said.
The firebrand politician says Mr Matiba died without receiving a single cent from the State, months after the judgement was made in his favour.
“The court decided the matter nine months ago but Matiba was not paid,” the former Nyeri Town MP said on Monday evening in an interview with Citizen TV.
The late Matiba was detained in July 1990 for agitating for Kenya’s return to multiparty politics.
While in detention, Mr Matiba suffered a stroke on May 26, 1991 but government officials did not get him medical attention— detaining him in that state for a week.
The stroke led to a drastic fall in the financial fortunes of the man who unsuccessfully tried to unseat President Daniel arap Moi in 1992 under the campaign slogan “Let the People Decide”.
On August 17, 2017, Supreme Court Judge Isaac Lenaola awarded Mr Matiba Sh504 million for the loss his business suffered as a result of his detention.
But through lawyer John Mburu, Mr Matiba went back to court, arguing that the calculation was erroneous and the amount was increased to Sh945 million.
The state, through Jackson Mutinda, did not oppose the application.
In September 29, 2017 ruling, the judge said that the detention affected the business empire that Matiba founded and steered.
“It is my finding that the petitioner’s medical condition, triggered by the events of the detention leading to his stroke, so greatly affected his business acumen attention, focus, energy, guidance and leadership he was giving his companies. Without him at the helm the deteriorated and come eventually collapsed,” the judge said.
An audit of the estate had revealed that the politician lost more than Sh2 billion in commercial real estate and a further Sh2 billion in privately held shares.
Five of his businesses were sold to settle accumulating debts.
These were Alliance Developments Limited, Alliance Hotels Limited, NaroMoru River Lodge Limited, Hillcrest School Limited and Hillcrest Secondary School Limited which were put in receivership by Barclays Bank and eventually sold off to pay debts owed to the bank.
Mr Matiba was an active participant in the stock market and owned substantial shares in Carbacid Investment Ltd, East African Breweries Ltd, CMC Holdings Ltd, East African Portland Cement.
He later sold the shares to offset liabilities arising from the poor performance of the hotel and school chains.
The Interior ministry delays paying court awards to victims of State maltreatment, in what officials say are delays in setting aside budgets.
The cash has to be factored in the annual budget and approved by Parliament.