A businessman is demanding more than Sh382 million from the family of former Cabinet Minister Nicholas Biwott as payment for loans dating back three years ago.
The Eldoret businessman, Mr Barnabas arap Kiprono, through his lawyer J K Chesoo, has named Mr Biwott’s widow Hannie and his children Rhoda Jeruto and Johana Catherine Kiprono as the people entitled to a share of his estate and who ought to clear the debt.
The former powerful minister died on July 11, 2017 at the age of 77. He had businesses in the banking, oil, construction and aviation, among other sectors.
In a case initially filed at the High Court in Kitale but which has been moved to Eldoret in unclear circumstances, Mr Kiprono said in an affidavit that he had loaned Mr Biwott Sh382 million.
He said he gave the former minister Sh50 million at an interest rate of 25 per cent on November 5, 2015 and additional Sh35 million at an interest rate of 30 per cent a month on December 11, 2015.
He added that he loaned the former minister another Sh10 million at an interest rate of 30 per cent on January 9, 2016 and Sh2 million at a similar rate on February 20, 2016. Later, he said, he loaned him Sh280 million at an interest rate of 18 per cent on March 29, 2016 and finally Sh5 million at an interest rate of 30 per cent on September 2, 2016.
It is not clear what the money was for as Mr Kiprono only said it was a loan advancement. The businessman said he had not been able to recover his money since Mr Biwott’s death. “The demise of Biwott has halted the payments and the recovery efforts,” said Mr Kiprono in the suit, adding that Mr Biwott was aware of the debt.
He wants to be enlisted as one of the administrators of his estate. “I have never recovered part of the money nor has anyone else done so on my behalf and I hold no security for the money,” said Mr Kiprono while naming Mr Biwott’s widow and children as the respondents in the suit.
Mr Kiprono named three commercial plots in Eldoret and another at Kwanza and Namanjalala in Trans Nzoia as some of the assets of Mr Biwott. According to Mr Kiprono, the assets are valued at more than Sh1 billion.
He has given the three 21 days to respond on why he should not be enlisted as one of the administrators of the estates.
“Take note that in default of your so appearing and accepting and extracting letters of administration, the court may proceed to grant letters of administration to the said estate your absence notwithstanding,” said Ms Chesoo, the businessman’s lawyer, in a notice in the dailies yesterday.
Mr Biwott’s family had called on anyone whom the former minister owed to file evidence and claims.