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Mombasa Finance minister risk arrest over unpaid Sh44m court award

Saturday May 23 2020

Mombasa County Finance Executive Maryam

Mombasa County Finance Executive Maryam Abdillahi Mbaruk addressing journalists at county headquarters on 15 Feb 2019. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAMWEL OWINO
By SAMWEL OWINO
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Mombasa County could pay a higher interest fees as the dispute between its finance department and a local company over the settlement of Sh44 million awarded by the court escalates.

Associated Automobile Distributors has in an advertisement appearing in a local daily this week, notified the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, Regional Police Commander (Mombasa County), and OCPD Mombasa Central Police Station, to effect a court order that Mombasa County Finance Executive Maryam Mbaruk be arrested for failing to settle the award.

High Court Judge John Mativo had issued orders on December 19, 2018 that Ms Mbaruk be arrested and presented in court to explain why she should not be committed to civil jail for failing to settle the award. However, police have not effected the arrest.

The firm’s contention with Mombasa County relates to the supply of goods which were never paid, and the amount demanded has been attracting interest as the stalemate persists. The judgment amount was initially Sh17 million.

The firm, through lawyer Joseph Murage, had separately filed an application seeking to have senior police officers Mr Mutyambai, Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and county DCI head Njue Njiru held liable for the failure by police to arrest Ms Mbaruk.

“The three police officers should also be ordered to pay a fine in their personal capacity,” the lawyer Murage had told court.

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However, the three senior officers stated in court papers that officers from the DCI headquarters were sent to arrest Ms Mbaruk but they could not find her.

“Police officers have visited her last known office within Mombasa County but to their dismay the office was vacant,” said lawyer Amos Omuga, for the officers, adding that citing the officers for contempt at this stage was premature because they are keen on executing the order.

A decision whether the senior police officers will be held liable for failing to effect the arrest of Ms Mbaruk is still pending before court.