KITUI COUNTY FINANCE EXECUTIVE FACES JAIL OVER FAILURE TO SETTLE OVER SH70 MILLION DEBT.

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BY SAM ALFAN.

A Kitui county official risks being sent to jail after a supplier applied to have him convicted for failing to pay a debt of Sh63 million.

The amount shall attract 14% interest as of February 2021 when the award was awarded in favor of Fairplan System ltd.

Fairplan Systems ltd successfully applied to have Ben Katungi, the Kitui county executive member for finance to appear in court and show cause why he should not be jailed for six months for failing to settle the debt.

Katungi is expected to appear before High Court judge Jairus Ngaah on October 12.

“Note that you are required to attend court on October 12, 2021 and show cause why you should not be committed to civil jail for contempt of court as prayed in the Notice of Motion”, letter to Katungi states. 

Through lawyer Patrick Lutta, the company said it obtained a judgment of Sh63 million in March this year. And despite being served with a demand to settle the debt.

Lutta told the court that a demand letter for payment of the amount was served to Katungi on July 15.

He said he is aware the county has received funds to pay pending bills together with the budgetary allocation for 2021-2022 and unless he is compelled to pay, it will spend the whole sum without paying the company.

“The Respondent has received funds for settling pending bills including the ex-parte Applicant’s together with the budgetary allocation for 2021-2022 from treasury and is stubbornly refusing to pay,” he said.

Lawyer Lutta said finance member Katungi has an obligation to obey the orders issued unless the orders are discharged or set aside.

“Ben Katungi, being the Respondent’s County Executive Committee Member for Finance, and the Head of Treasury as per Section 103(3) of the Public Finance Management Act No. 18 of 2012 is under obligation to obey the court order issued on July 14, 2021 and pay to the ex-parte applicant Sh.63,301,586.40 and Sh. 93,445 being the amount due under the order”, Lutta told the court.

On July 14, 2021 high court awarded Sh.63,301,586.40 and Sh. 93,445being the amount payable to the company under the certificate of order against Government dated March 10, 2021 with respect to Nairobi High Court Misc. Civil Application No. 289 of 2017: Fairplan Systems Ltd vs County Government of Kitui. 

“An order is hereby issued to command and compel respondents to pay the exparte applicant Sh. 63,301,586.40 and Sh. 95,445 being the amounts payable to the ex-parte applicant under the certificate of order against the government dated March 10,2021”, Judge Ngaah ordered.

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