By Maureen Odiwuor
Kisumu, Kenya: The High Court in Kisumu has ordered the Foreign Affairs ministry to pay Sh700,000 with interest to an accident victim after defying a judgment issued nine years ago.
In a judicial review case filed by Gabriel Atila, Justice Aggrey Muchelule gave orders compelling the respondents; Foreign Affairs ministry, Kodiaga Prison commandant and the Attorney General to make the payments.
Atila successfully sued the respondents for general and special damages plus interest after he was injured on January 2003 in a road accident involving the ministry’s vehicle.
He was at the time travelling in the vehicle belonging to the first respondent then being used by the Prisons Department.
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Muchelule said the ministry was bound to obey the judgment of the subordinate court.
“Under Article 47(1) of the Constitution, the applicant had the right to expeditious payment,” he said.
He said there was no claim that the respondent was without funds, or that there was some alternative and effective remedy available to the applicant.
The judge read that a decree was extracted in the sum of Sh397,505 together with interest at 14 per cent from the date of the decree to date of full payment. It was served but the respondents did not elicit payment.
However, despite a judgment being issued a year and a half after the accident, the three parties did not fulfill the court orders to make the payments hence the case was filed.
The order was to compel the respondents to pay Atila the amount in the decree within interest and has therefore multiplied to Sh763,483.90.
“The judgment in the said case was delivered on October 23, 2004, and the decree entered on April 8, 2005. That has certainly been a long period of non-compliance by the respondents,” said Muchelule.
The judge said the application for the payment was served but did not receive any response by either the replying affidavit or grounds of objection, or not at all.
“The respondents did not appeal against the judgment and the decree of the court,” said the judge.