Interior PS Karanja Kibicho sentenced to appear for contempt
A High Court in Embu has ordered Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and National Government Coordination Karanja Kibicho to appear personally in court on March 3, 2022 for contempt of court orders.
Embu High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna in a ruling observed that the inaction and negligence was a disregard for a valid order which seriously undermines the dignity of the court.
She noted that it was essential for the maintenance of the rule of law and order that the authority and dignity of the courts be respected at all times.
She warned that the court would not tolerate willful disobedience of her orders and would not shy away from its responsibility to deal firmly with proven outrages.
“In the given circumstances, I therefore consider that the respondents have been found in contempt of court orders and the first defendant is granted 30 days to serve the contempt,” Judge Njuguna ordered.
She further decided that the case would be mentioned on a date to be fixed by the court for further orders.
In a miscellaneous civil petition in the Embu High Court, Elija Kithaka Nthiga and Sospeter Muturi listed as first and second petitioners sued the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Interior and National Government Coordination as first defendant and the Attorney General as a second defendant. .
Petitioners had commenced judicial review proceedings in Miscellaneous Petition No. 25 of 2018 seeking an order compelling the Respondents to pay the decree amount awarded in Chief Magistrates Court Civil Cases Nos. 161 of 2008 and 67 of 2007. Said orders were granted by Chief Embu. Court of Magistrates.
By Notice of Motion dated October 23, 2020, the Petitioners sought orders that the current Principal Secretary, Department of Home Affairs and National Government Coordination be punished for contempt of court and that the costs of the motion be paid by the defendants.
High Court Judge Lucy Njuguna observed that the High Court had made an order compelling the defendants to pay the claimants the decree amount awarded in the civil cases of the trial court in the amount of 79,055 shillings, as well only the costs and interest in accordance with the certificate of costs dated January 1st. , 2020.
“For whatever reason, the defendants chose to pay the decretal amount but failed and/or neglected to pay the costs of 79,055 shillings plus interest. The plaintiff argued that the defendants were fully aware of the existence said certificate of costs since the plaintiffs’ attorney had been in contact with the defendants’ representatives, as stated in court,” Judge Njuguna noted.
She also noted that the respondents filed grounds of opposition that the application was fatally flawed, bad in law and not based on material facts, that the application as filed was imprecise, frivolous and was based on speculation, ill will and that she should be fired with costs.
The petitioners had argued that the PS and the Attorney General, despite the service, had omitted, refused and neglected to file a response and that, therefore, their petition had not been opposed.
In her decision, the judge observed that the court orders were straightforward and unambiguous and proceeded to determine whether or not to serve the respondents.
“After reviewing the evidence, I note that service of the orders was effected by learned claim counsel on the respondents and, later in the court record, counsel for the respondent was at one point prepared to discuss of an amicable settlement,” Judge Njuguna noted.