Matiba seeks Sh234m in suit costs from the State

Politician Kenneth Matiba. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Politician Kenneth Matiba. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Veteran politician Kenneth Matiba has gone back to court seeking the costs he was awarded by the High Court in his Nyayo-era torture suit .

In his bill filed through lawyer John Mburu, Mr Matiba is seeking Sh234 million after Justice Isaac Lenaola found the government culpable of violating his rights and awarded him 978 million plus costs of the suit and interest from date of filing the case in 2014.


Mr Mburu filed Sh234,614,128 bill on behalf of his client and will now appear before the Deputy Registrar of the High Court on November 15 for assessment.

The 85-year-old former Kiharu MP, who suffered a stroke in jail, was awarded Sh945 million for his unlawful detention in the early 1990s and collapsed business empire as well as interest dating back to 2014 when the suit was filed.

Mr Mburu has cited extensive research, taking instructions, huge documentation to support the Matiba suit and more research in various libraries— including the Nation, Kenya National Archives and Kenya National Library, to build the case against the State, due to its historical perspective.

Mr Matiba’s award has risen to Sh1.5 billion due to interest accrued.

Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga in 2014 gazetted rates charged by lawyers, putting caps and minimum amounts for different cases.

The charges are based on a number of factors— including value of subject matter of suits, complexity of the matter, time spent, instruction charges and drawing and perusing of court and other documents.

Justice Isaac Lenaola awarded Mr Matiba 20 per cent of the Sh4, 726,332,042 for the loss of business, putting the compensation at Sh885 million.


The court also awarded him Sh15 million in damages and for violations suffered, another Sh18.1 million for medical expenses— pushing the total payout to Sh918 million.

Mr Matiba had argued that he lost investments worth Sh5 billion following his detention in 1990.

A financial and investment analyst Lawrence Murigi said Mr Matiba’s businesses started collapsing soon after his detention.

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.

Mr Matiba, who unsuccessfully tried to unseat President Moi in 1992, also lost public trading shares worth Sh329 million and dividends amounting to Sh210 million.

Some of his companies were sold to offset loans, including the prestigious Hillcrest International Schools.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story had wrongly indicated that the Mr Matiba's lawyer John Mburu was demanding a quarter of his Sh1 billion compensation. Mr Mburu is seeking the costs of the suit from the State on his client's behalf.