By PAMELA CHEPKEMEI
Kenya: The Government can now process payment of Sh1.4 billion to companies involved in the Anglo Leasing scandal after a court yesterday declined to issue temporary orders stopping the release of any cash from Treasury.
High Court Judge David Majanja refused to issue temporary orders sought by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) stopping payments to First Mercantile Securities Corporation. LSK wanted the court to halt the payments until the petition it has lodged in court is heard and determined.
However, Justice Majanja in a brief ruling said LSK had not produced convincing evidence or any form of documentation to prove that any payment is about to be effected by the Government.
The judge said the affidavit sworn by LSK secretary Apollo Mboya only attacks the judgment made by the court in London ordering the Kenyan Government to pay the money.
Furthermore, the court had to consider that granting such orders would interfere with the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly to deliberate on issues of public interest. Attorney General Githu Muigai told the court to let Parliament decide the payment of Sh1.4 billion to two companies in the Anglo Leasing contracts. The AG said the matter is now before Parliament and the courts should not interfere.
Deputy Solicitor General Muthoni Kimani urged Justice Majanja to reject LSK’s application. She argued that there is no evidence to prove that the contracts concerned were tainted with corruption as claimed by LSK.
“Innuendos and mere allegations cannot be the basis to give conservatory orders sought,’’ said Ms Kimani, adding that LSK had filed mere sensational reports fuelled and propagated for a particular agenda.
“The right forum is for the Executive to be subjected to scrutiny before Parliament. It is only after the outcome of those discussions can action be taken,” she added.
Lawyer James Mwamu representing LSK told the court that there is hard evidence because the anti-corruption agency conducted investigations and established that the two companies to be paid do not exist.
LSK was seeking orders stopping the Treasury and the Attorney General from paying any money related to the 18 Ango Leasing types of contracts. The lawyers’ body is also seeking an order compelling Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and the AG to produce evidence of any payments made so far within seven days. LSK has faulted a judgment against the Government issued by a court in London in favour of First Mercantile Securities Corporation and Universal Satspace.