Mombasa County officials have 10 days to pay Sh18.5m

Mombasa County Chief Finance Officer Asha Abdi (right), County Executive in charge of Finance Maryam Mbaruk and Jimmy Waliaula at a Mombasa High Court in Mombasa County on Thursday 13th February 2020, in a civil suit where Robinson Onyango Malombe, a former defunct Municipal Council of Mombasa lawyer wants the county to pay him over Sh 400 million for legal representation in different cases when the County was Municipal Council of Mombasa. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The High Court in Mombasa has given Mombasa County Finance Executive Maryam Mbaruk and her Chief Officer Aisha Abdi 10 days to pay lawyer Robinson Malombo Sh18.5 million or face jailing.

Also affected by the order is Mombasa County Legal officer Jimmy Waliaula, who is representing the office of the Attorney.

Malombo sued the County Government for over Sh18.5 million being legal fees incurred on various cases he handled for the now-defunct Municipal Council of Mombasa. Yesterday, Justice Eric Ogola said: “Asha Abdi and Mbarak are hereby granted 10 days to comply with the court order to pay the said amounts, failure to which the warrants of arrest may be executed without any further reference to this court.”

He said the county counsel had previously asked for time to sort out the debts, claiming money was yet to be sent to the counties. “For the better part of last year your counsel were seeking for more time and claiming that money was yet to be released to the counties and you (are) still using the same narrative. The court gives orders and must be respected,” said Mr Ogola.

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He said he has handled several similar cases, where the county government owed several firms, and was using the same excuses.

“You are the two senior-most county financial officers who shoulder the financial problems in the county, and therefore you should not be chased around but sit down and find solutions to the souring debts,” said Justice Ogola.

Last year the judge directed that the three officials be jailed for six months for failure to pay the said amount as ordered by the court.

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On January 31, Ogolla suspended warrants of arrest the court issued on December 6, 2018, against the officers for contempt of court to allow them to settle the debt.

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High CourtMombasa CountyMaryam MbarukAisha AbdiLegal fees