BY SUSAN MUHINDI
A warrant of arrest has been issued against former President Moi’s son Philip Kipchirchir for failing to comply with a court order to deposit Sh2.7 million in a maintenance suit filed by his estranged wife Rosanna Pluda Moi. The warrant was issued by Justice Wanjiru Karanja after the order issued last week.
Philip risks spending 30 days in civil jail and having his property attached. The warrant was signed by the deputy registrar of the High Court. Philip’s lawyer Evans Ondieki claimed that his client had deposited Sh60,000 as maintenance fee in favour of Rosanna. The money, deposited with Rosanna’s lawyer Judy Thongori, is way below the amount Philip was directed to deposit within seven days.
Philip had by Tuesday deposited Sh60,000 into the account of Judy Thongori and Company Advocates. He had earlier deposited the money in the wrong account. The warrant commands the police to “arrest the said Philip Kipchirchir Moi and bring him before this court with convenient speed. You are further required to return this warrant to this court executed or unexecuted giving the reasons as to why the same has not been executed.”
Philip’s troubles emanate from a suit that Rosanna filed in 2008 demanding maintenance for herself and their children. In a May 24 2010 ruling, Justice Roselyne Nambuye ordered Philip to pay Rosanna an outstanding amount of Sh2.7 million and a monthly upkeep of Sh250,000 for her and their children and alternatively Sh150,000 a month when the children were not with her.
After he failed to pay, Rosanna went back to court in August this year. Justice Karanja issued an order that Philip should pay the money or go to jail. Philip sought temporary orders to stop Rosanna from demanding the money claiming it was more than Rosanna used to get when they were living together. He claimed that Rosanna 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 as requested by the court. The court ruled that the “valuable information” would have helped it reach its decision. Rosanna subsequently 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.
Philip 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. “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.
In an application seeking to lift the arrest warrant, Philip said 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.
Rosanna has previously told the court that Philip was a man of means. She provided the court with a list of properties she believed he owns and which include a large house in Muthaiga; a house with a swimming pool in Nakuru standing on 350 acres of farmland, a building in Riverside, Nairobi, and a beach house on eight acres at Watamu.
Rosanna said her husband also held several foreign bank accounts and had 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 is wealthy and claimed he was struggling to survive with the help of friends. He said his only income is a paltry pension he receives as a retired army officer.