A sharing dispute between the family of Kenneth Matiba and a lawyer has prompted the High Court Judge Weldon Korir to freez Sh252 million compensation.
Justice Weldon Korir directed Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki to deposit Sh252 million from the Sh1.5 billion compensation in a court bank account ahead of the State Law Office making further payment to the Matiba family.
Lawyer John Mburu, who represented Matiba in the compensation suit, says the Treasury had secretly released hundreds of millions of shillings to the family of the late politician in a scheme to avoid paying him his rightful legal fees.
The lawyer said Matiba’s widow Edith, daughter Susan and son Raymond, were paid Sh200 million in February last year without involving him.
Matiba was awarded Sh978 million by the High Court as compensation for torture during the Moi era and the amount at the moment exceeds Sh1.5 billion, including interest.
Justice Korir ruled that the court had the duty to protect Mr Mburu, arguing that a client cannot evade the responsibility of settling an advocate’s fees.
“Depositing the money in court will ensure that the same will be available for disbursement once the issue of the amount owing to Mr (John) Mburu is finally settled. An order is also issued directing the respondent to deposit in court on priority to any other payment, the sum of Sh252,392,618.48.” Judge said.
Matiba, a former Kiharu MP, died last year aged 85 after battling long illness. He suffered a stroke while in detention on May 26, 1991, during the administration of the then President Late Daniel arap Moi. Moi, who ruled Kenya for 24 years, died last week and will be buried today at his Kabarak farm in Nakuru County.