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Former minister’s cows attached over Sh888,000 debt

RIFT VALLEY
By Julius Chepkwony | October 25th 2021

Former Eldama Ravine MP Musa Sirma in Kabarnet on March 2, 2018. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

A decision by a politician to challenge an election petition in court has come back to haunt him.

Auctioneers moved in on the property of former Eldama Ravine MP Musa Sirma over an Sh888,000 debt he had failed to pay after losing the case in 2018.

Saddabri Auctioneers in Nakuru town, acting on instructions from Gordon Ogola and Kipkoech Company Advocates, attached 20 cows each valued at Sh35,000.

The cows, as per the proclamation, have been substituted with two motor vehicles and one loader.

The attachment followed the dismissal of an election petition Sirma, who is also a former East African Minister, had filed at the High Court in Kabarnet against the election of Moses Lessonet as Eldama Ravine MP in the 2017 election.

Sirma sued Lessonet, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), and Returning Officer Peter Kuria.

When dismissing Sirma’s petition in 2018, the court ordered him to pay IEBC, the returning officer, and Lessonet each Sh2 million. Sirma, despite lodging an appeal, lost again.

The auctioneer is required to return the warrant of attachment on or before November 8, with an endorsement certifying the manner in which it has been or the reason it has not been executed.

“These are to command you to sell by auction after giving ten-day notice previous notice, by affixing the same in this court-house and after making due proclamation, the judgment-debtors property attached,” reads a letter to the auctioneer by the law firm.

In September 2019, Sirma had moved back to court claiming the proclamation was illegal. He said auctioneers had undervalued his property and accused Lessonet and the electoral body of expanding the decree beyond the legal limits, terming it illegal.

Lessonet on his part through lawyers Kipkoech Ng'etich and Allan Kibet said Sirma's application was misconceived and an abuse of court process and ought to be dismissed.

Lessonet said Sirma was not desirous of paying the balance to him and the auctioneer’s fee. He revealed that though they had entered several consent orders to enable him to pay, he had constantly failed to adhere to the consent orders.

Lessonet lawyers revealed that four years since the judgment was rendered and Sirma had not paid the balance of Sh750, 000.

Kipkoech and Kibet in their submission said consent between them and on behalf of their client with Sirma dated March 26, 2019, has never been set aside and it required him (Sirma) to comply and pay failure to which execution was to commence.

The court upheld the preliminary objection by Lessonet's lawyers and dismissed Sirma’s application and further condemned him to pay the cost of the suit to both IEBC and Lessonet.

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