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Salasya to pay businessman half a million, court rules

Mumias East MP Peter Salasya has found himself at the receiving end after the Small Claims Court (SCC) in Kakamega ordered him to pay a businessman Sh500,000 owed to him plus interest accrued since December 2022.

A judgment delivered by SCC magistrate Gladys Kiama Nashipai dismissed Mr Salasya’s counterclaim against paying the debt as inadequate, implausible and dissuasive.

The lawmaker will now pay the Kakamega-based businessman Robert Lutta the Sh500,000 he is said to have borrowed after he won the August 2022 Mumias East parliamentary seat.

He was also ordered to pay the cost of the case that ran for less than two months.

“The respondent (Salasya) first claimed he had personally loaned the petitioner (Mr Lutta) Sh1 million in cash but later changed during the hearing stage and said that he had loaned the money through a proxy. The proxy in question, one Bernard Kemba, could not even identify the claimant (Lutta) even after an identification parade was carried out in court claiming that the camera was not clear even though their lawyer was able to identify those appearing on the screen. I therefore find the counterclaim inconsistent,” read the judgement in part.

Through lawyer Edwin Wafula, Lutta sued the MP on 23 October, claiming that he had innocently lent Mr Salasya the money in the hope that he would repay it in two months, but that he had failed to do so.

“I agreed to advance him the amount on December 13 2022 because he was a good friend for so many years. I made a direct transfer of the Sh500,000 to Mr Salasya through the Kenya Commercial Bank-Mumias Branch who promised to refund the amount within a period of two months from the date of the transaction,” said the claimant in his petition.

Mr Lutta told the court through his lawyer that the MP had failed, refused, neglected and ignored to refund the amount despite frequent reminders.

Lutta attached bank transfer details which showed how the money moved from his account to that of the Mumias East MP.

The businessman said he was prepared to use the Civil Procedure Act (Section 38), which allows for the imprisonment of defaulters, to send the MP to civil jail if he is found guilty of defaulting on the debt and persisting in not repaying it.

“The court has made its ruling and directed the MP to pay the money. We shall be proceeding to execute the ruling which entails attaching his property or putting him in jail. We pray that he settles the money without due duress from us,” said Mr Wafula, the lawyer.

 

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