NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 19 – Attorney General Githu Muigai has denied claims that he has blocked the payment of Sh20 million, awarded by the High Court to former political detainee Otieno Mak’Onyango.
In a statement, the AG said on Tuesday that the former MP’s dues were being processed and he would receive the money soon.
He says Mak’Onyango is aware of the progress of his matter and was updated on the status on Monday, when he visited the AG’s office.
In June 2012, Justice Kalpana Rawal – who was then sitting in the High Court – awarded Mak’Onyango Sh20 million for the suffering he underwent after the failed coup of August 1982.
Rawal, who has since been nominated to the office of Deputy Chief Justice, said the actions of the State officers were unconstitutional, oppressive and contrary to fair process of criminal law administration.
The former Alego Usonga MP was seeking compensation from the State for “unlawful detention for five years and violation of his rights” by retired President Moi’s regime.
Mak’Onyango who is a journalist by profession was at the time of 1982 coup attempt a journalist for the East African Standard.
He was arrested on August 17, 1982 at the Standard newspaper offices on Likoni Road and taken to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Nairobi.
He was detained at the General Service Unit headquarters together with Prime Minister Raila Odinga and others.
They were held incommunicado and tortured during the detention. PM Odinga testified in the case as a witness.
The award was a departure from decisions by other judges who have awarded former detainees between Sh1.5 million and Sh3 million.