Taxpayers risk losing Sh809 billion arising from ongoing legal suits and arbitrations that have been filed against the government.
Solicitor-General Kennedy Ogeto told Members of Parliament that the office of the Attorney-General and Department of Administrative Justice had, at end of May, 2019, analysed the ongoing cases and arbitrations with quantifiable claims as having a potential liability exposure to the Government of Sh809,938,412,173.
“Similarly, the ongoing exercise on pending legal bills has identified an outstanding pending legal bill totalling Sh168 billion as at February 17, 2020,” Mr Ogeto told the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee during the scrutiny of the AG’s budgetary allocations for the 2020/21 financial year.
Mr Ogeto told the committee chaired by Tharaka MP George Murugara that the pending legal claims include those by constitutional commissions and State corporations.
“The task force on pending legal bills found that Sh168 billion is outstanding. This is money arising out of court judgments that needs to be paid by the Government to various claimants,” Mr Ogeto said.
He said the potential liability of Sh809 billion includes awards for breach of contracts and government guarantees to State corporations that have defaulted in payment of respective loans.
“These are claims against the national government. The claims are for both local and international organisations with disputes with the government on agreements,” Mr Ogeto said.
Mr Ogeto did not provide a detailed breakdown of the amounts owed to individuals, local or international firms which have disputes with the government. “I request a week to compile the list giving a detailed breakdown of the case, the amounts involved and the firms. I will provide details to this committee next week,” Mr Ogeto said.
Nominated MP Jennifer Shamallah sought to know details of the Sh809 billion bill and demanded a breakdown on what constitutes guarantees backed by the government including the State institutions involved.