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Iringo ordered to appear in court over KES 31M debt

10 June 2014, 11:52 Millicent Kawii

Nairobi - A Tanzanian businessman has prompted a judge to order Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo to personally appear in court to explain why he should not be punished for acting in contempt of court.


The PS who was supposed to appear before High Court judge George Odunga yesterday following an earlier directive that he presents himself and explain why his ministry is yet to pay Mr James Alfred Koroso over Sh31million for wrongful prosecution had sent a representative from the ministry’s legal department as well as a state lawyer to represent him.


However the judge could hear none of their reasons and demanded that the PS to simply appear before him on July 3 to give the necessary explanation on why he should not be punished for acting in contempt of court with regards to the six year old compensation of Sh 31, 576, 584.35.


The representative, Mr Charles Kimani did appear before Justice Odunga on behalf of Mr Iringo but the judge insisted that the PS should appear before him in court before anything else in the case is discussed by those sent by him.


“I am not satisfied that any sufficient reason has been given why the PS has not complied with last week’s directions to appear before this court to show cause why he should not be charged with contempt of court or for not complying with the award, I direct that he appears before this court in person to show cause why he should not be subjected to punishment for contempt of court,” said the judge.


Mr Iringo’s lawyer had informed the judge about the PS’s representative and requested for more time to allow negotiations in a matter he described as one involving a colossal sum of money.


And Mr Kimani had pleaded with the judge to allow for more time to hold negotiations on settling the compensation awarded to Mr Koroso in 2008, carry out more investigations and come with a report as well as file an appeal.


Mr Kimani also explained that the ministry has had insufficient funds in financial year 2013/2014.


“This matter is of public interest and we need to appeal or obtain sufficient time for negotiating teams to carry out investigations and file a report, time has not been sufficient and that is why the matter is pending within the same financial year which the ministry has been without sufficient funds to meet the payment,” said Mr Kimani.


But the judge who has previously issued a warrant of arrest for Mr Iringo over this case could hear none of the explanation presented on behalf of the PS.


Mr Koroso who claims that his family house is being auctioned, was wrongly arrested by Kiambu CID officers in Taita Taveta on December 17, 1993 while he was transporting his goods between Tanzania and Kenya after being earlier threatened by police officers that they would deal with him accordingly for refusing to give them some money.


He was charged with robbery with violence, at a Kiambu Magistrate court which later acquitted him in December 7, 1995.


According to Mr Koroso, the arrest and pursuit for compensation has made his incur massive losses in his business as well as seen his son who enrolled in a university in London drop out due to lack of fees.


Mr Koroso has sued the Interior ministry and the Attorney General of frustrating his compensation efforts and alleges that government officials have even threatened to take his life should he not drop his pursuit.


Appellate Judge Jackton Ojwang awarded him the amount after an appeal by the AG which the Tanzanian national claims delayed his pursuit.

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