Monday, 08 August 2011
BY JILLO KADIDA
Retired President Daniel Moi’s son Philip risks serving jail term unless he pays Sh2.7 million he owes his wife and a monthly upkeep of Sh250,000 for their children. He also risks his property being attached if he does not pay the money to Rossana Pluda Moi in 30 days.
The order by High Court Justice Roselyne Nambuye follows a successful application Rossana filed to compel Philip to pay the money following a court order issued on May 24,last year. The court had also ordered Philip to give Sh250,000 to Pluda as monthly maintenance when she was living with the children and Sh150,000 for her maintenance when she was on her own.
Aggrieved by the order Philip sought for temporary orders to stop Pluda from demanding the money from him. He claimed the amount he was ordered to pay was beyond what Rossana used to access during the sibsistence of the marriage and that she used to maintain herself.
However, the court rejected the application as Philip had failed to prove his claim that he was unable to meet his financial obligations due to “financial tribulations. He did not provide the court with any evidence regarding the extent of his wealth and financial ability. The court said Philip had ‘witheld valuable information” which would have helped it reach its decision.
Rossana went to court after six months to ask it to compel Philip to show cause why he should not be committed to civil jail and why his property should not be attached for failing to pay what he owes. She said Philip was a man of means and provided the court with a list of properties she believes belongs to her husband.
Among the properties listed by Rossana is a palatial home in Muthaiga, a house with a swimming pool in Nakuru standing on 350 acres land, a building in Riverside, Nairobi and a beach house on an eight acre piece of land at Watamu. Her husband also operated several foreign bank accounts and had recently disposed of an oil factory on an 11 acre piece of land in Nairobi’s industrial area. She also said Philip’s ability to pay had been demonstrated by his ability to pay school fees at high coast schools for their children.
Philip denied he was a wealthy man and claimed he was struggling to survive with help from his friends. he said the only income he had was a paltry pension he gets as a retired army officer. He said he drew no riches from the name he owns and does not draw any support from his father, retired President Moi.
He claimed that despite knowing his true financial status, Rossana had decided to a live a “life of fantasy, glamour and glitz, ostentation with a display of affluence fit for Hollywood” and the legendary jetsetting lifestyle known worldwide for “erxtravagance and lavish lifestyles.” He said he Rossan’s â€˜lavish lifestyle which is not only extravagant but obscene according to Kenyan standards” had forced him to incur debt to maintain it.
He provided the court with documents of Rossana’s credit cards to show that she had been treating herself to expensive hotels and restaurants both locally and internationally. He claimed that the account from which his children’s schoolfees was paid belonged to his eldest sister and he was just “an administrative signatory.”
Philip said the school fees was being paid through loans extended to him by friends and wellwishers. He said he lived in the family residence where he did not pay any rent but had to meet all household expenses. He denied that he owned the property listed by Rossana as his and said a search at the registry could confirm this. He also denied operating foreign banks accounts or owning a new car.
Philip said he objected to the children being exposed to Rossana’s “extravagant and wasteful’ lifestyle by shown by the choice of schools in the UK where they were “induced’ to go and returned shortly afterwards to live with him He pleaded with the court to defend him from the humiliation of being committed to civil jail.
But the court said the right of not being demeaned by being subjected to civil jail had a corresponding duty both on court and the debtor to uphold rights of judgment creditor. “The right of a civil debtor not to be demeaned by incarceration in a civil jail stands on equal footing with the successful litigants right to have his/her cause heard by a competent tribunal established by law, right to an effective remedy whose effectiveness can only be measured by enforcement of the resultant orders,” said the judge.
The judge noted that the court did not make orders in vain but made them for the purpose of having them enforced so that the legal processes are effective. She said Philip did not show any proof that he was unable to meet his responsibilities and had therefore not demonstrated why he should be spared civil jail and his property attached. Justice Nambuye ordered Philip to be committed to civil jail if he did not make the payment within 30 days of being served. It also gave Rossana an alternative order to investigate and identify Philip’s free property and attach it to recover the amount owed.