RETIRED President Moi’s son Philip will go to jail in seven days if he does not pay Sh2.7 million to his estranged wife Rosanna Pluda Moi. Philip went to court yesterday with an urgent application to lift the arrest order by Justice Wanjiru Karanja issued on September 21 committing him to 30 days in civil jail. Justice Karanja yesterday told Philip he must comply with her directive to pay Rossana before she can hear his application.
His lawyer Evans Ondieki said the former military officer was willing to pay Sh60,000 immediately. Armed with bank slips, Ondieki showed payments made to the Judiciary yesterday and another local bank on August 24. “I ask the court to forgive me because the divorce has caused me a lot of distress, anxiety and trauma and I do not wish to suffer any more on matters arising from these proceedings,” Philip said in an affidavit.
He said he was unable to pay the outstanding Sh2.7 million within the stipulated time because he was sick. But the judge insisted he pay the full amount within seven days or go to jail. It also emerged that Philip had deposited some money in the wrong account and yesterday he was directed to pay it into the account of lawyer Judy Thongori.
The former President’s son also risks having his property attached if he does not pay Rossana by September 29. In his application Philip says the arrest orders contravened the constitution which outlaws inhuman and degrading treatment. He said the court should have listened to his side of the story. “The decision was so drastic without taking into account that I have been paying the amount that I am able to raise during these economic difficulties which are beyond my contemplation” he said.
Earlier this week Justice Karanja ordered that Philip be sent to civil jail for 30 days for failing to pay maintenance to his estranged wife. The judge ordered him to pay on August 22 but the deadline had been extended to September 9. But Philip had still not paid. Philip’s troubles began when his estranged wife Rosanna sued him for maintenance in 2008.
In May 2010 Justice Roselyne Nambuye ordered Philip to pay her an outstanding Sh2.7 million and a monthly upkeep of Sh250,000 for their children. And after he failed to pay, Rosanna went back to court and in August Justice Karanja issued an order that Philip should pay or go to jail. The initial order by justice Nambuye arose out of an application Rosanna filed for maintenance on May 24, 2010.
The court had ordered Philip to pay Sh250,000 monthly to Rosanna as monthly maintenance when she was living with the children and Sh150,000 for her maintenance when she was on her own. An aggrieved Philip sought temporary orders to stop Rosanna from demanding the money. He said it was more than Rosanna used to get when they were married and used to maintain herself. The court rejected Philip’s claim that he was unable to meet his obligations due to “financial tribulations”.
He did not provide details of his wealth and the court said Philip had “withheld valuable information” that would have helped it reach its decision. Six months later Rosanna went to court 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.
She said Philip was a man of means and provided the court with a list of properties she believed he owns. Among the properties listed by Rosanna is a large house in Muthaiga; a house with a swimming pool in Nakuru standing on 350 acres, a building in Riverside, Nairobi; and a beach house on eight acres at Watamu.
Rosanna said her husband owned several foreign bank accounts and recently sold an oil factory on 11 acres in Nairobi’s Industrial Area. She said Philip was able to pay fees in expensive schools for their children. Philip denied he was wealthy and claimed he was struggling to survive with the help of friends. He said his only income was a paltry pension as a retired army officer.
He said that his father Moi does not give him any additional support. Yesterday Philip argued he already paid some money towards the upkeep of his children and therefore he should not be sent to jail. He said committing him to civil jail over debt would contravene his constitutional rights.