On Friday, Nairobi’s High Court sanctioned the arrest of Stanley Muiruri Muthama, a notable Member of Parliament representing Lamu West, on account of an unsettled debt totaling KSh2.3 million.
In line with the court’s directive, the Deputy Registrar of the High Court ordered the officials overseeing Parliament and the police force in Lamu to apprehend Muthama for the unsettled debt, an obligation stemming from his company, Stansha Ltd, to Saunett Enterprises.
The debt originated from transactions involving the procurement of hardware goods and materials by Saunett in 2014 and 2015. The MP had committed to a plan of installment payments, having already paid KSh6.7 million but failing to cover the remaining balance of KSh2.3 million.
The court’s warrant instructs the prompt apprehension of Muthama, demanding that he either settles the sum of KSh2,277,469, plus any potential officers’ fees, or face swift legal consequences.
In the application to the registrar, Saunett Enterprises asserts that the MP’s actions represent a clear violation of the payment directive, initially issued by High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya on November 8th of the previous year.
Alice Cheruiyot, the director of Saunett Enterprises, relayed through her lawyer, Robinson Kigen, that a warning had been issued by the court, alerting Muthama to the possibility of an arrest warrant in the event of a default.
The court-approved agreement stipulated that any failure to meet a single installment would trigger the full balance becoming due immediately, and an automatic issuance of an arrest warrant against Muthama.
“Mr. Muthama and his company, Stansha Limited, have continually disregarded the consent agreement. They failed to fulfill the payment due on April 1, 2022,” Kigen articulated.
Muthama managed to adopt the installment agreement after demonstrating his inability to settle the entire debt at once due to financial difficulties. He had declared in an affidavit, dated August 23, 2021, that his company had ceased operations in 2019 due to a sizable tax arrear of KSh36.2 million.
Muthama has expressed concern over potential severe consequences, including irreparable harm and damage to his reputation, if he were to be incarcerated.
Initially, Stansha Ltd owed Saunett KSh17.3 million, but subsequent partial payments reduced this figure. As of October 14, 2022, a balance of KSh8.9 million remained, from which Muthama managed to pay KSh6.7 million, leaving an unsettled balance of KSh2.27 million.