A businessman based in Eldoret is seeking close to Sh7 billion from the estate of former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott which he claims he loaned him between November 2015 and September 2016.
In a court case that is expected to generate a lot of public interest in the coming months, Mr Barnabas arap Kiprono is seeking orders stopping the distribution of property under the estate before the matter is heard and determined.
The case was filed at Eldoret High Court on Tuesday.
Mr Kiprono, who is represented by Ms Karen Chesoo, said he gave Mr Biwott, who died in July 2017, a total of Sh382 million in bits, adding that the amount has since risen to Sh6.7 billion inclusive of interest.
In his affidavit, he said that he gave Mr Biwott, the money on diverse dates without indicating what the money was intended for.
He indicated that he first loaned the former minister Sh50 million on November 5, 2015 at an interest rate of 25 percent. The same year on December 11, he gave him Sh35 million at an interest rate of 30 per cent.
In 2016, he said he loaned Mr Biwott Sh10 million on January 9 at an interest of 30 percent and Sh2 million at a similar rate on February 20.
Later, he said, he loaned him Sh280 million at an interest rate of 18 percent on March 29 and finally Sh5 million at an interest rate of 30 percent on September 2 of the same year.
Mr Kiprono, who has sued the executors of Mr Biwott’s estate, Desterio Andadi Oyatsi, Kenneth Hamish Wooler Keith and Elizabeth Klem, said he had not received a single coin from Mr Biwott by the time he died adding that it is upon his estate to settle the debt.
In seeking orders stopping further interference with the estate, he said in Civil Suit 7 of 2019, that he was worried that he might not get repaid if Mr Biwott’s children and other beneficiaries were to distribute his wealth.
The businessman associated with a number of properties in Eldoret town said he had issued demands for the repayment of the debt but that the estate had failed to respond to them.
Mr Kiprono has identified a number of assets belonging to Mr Biwott he said should be preserved until the case is fully determined.
They include prime pieces of land within Eldoret municipality, Kilifi, Cheptebo in Keiyo and Mosop.
Although he is demanding Sh6.7 billion, Mr Kiprono indicated that the net value of Mr Biwott upon his death was Sh1.4 billion.
The defendants through their lawyer, Ms Ledisha Kipseii, told the court that Mr Kiprono was not a beneficiary or a dependant of the Mr Biwott and therefore should not seek the preservation of his estate.
Ms Kipseii said they had filed their defence to the suit and that any interim orders restraining the distribution of the estate of will prejudice the estate.
In a replying affidavit by the executors, they questioned why Mr Kiprono had not attempted to recover the money when Mr Biwott was still alive.
“There is no evidence at all of any attempts made by the plaintiff to recover the debt from the deceased during the intervening period, if at all the deceased defaulted to pay as alleged,” the executors said in the affidavit signed by Oyatsi on their behalf.
Justice Sewe directed that the status quo of the estate be preserved pending further orders of the court.
The case will be mentioned on April 2, 2019.